Thanks Senator DeMint for holding this hearing, I was one of 24 Senators to visit the Katrina affected region of the Gulf, and I know full well the devastation a major hurricane can cause. That is why Senator Inouye and I created this subcommittee, so we can look at what we can do to better predict natural disasters and understand how we can mitigate the damages of property and lives lost.
This is the Atlantic hurricane forecast that NOAA sent out on Monday to the American people. I have had my staff search for two days to find the Alaskan Storm forecast, but none exists. I hope it is that we don’t have enough weather data or satellite coverage in Alaska to plug into computer models that predict these weather trends and NOT that Alaskan storms are not a priority to NOAA. We get storms just as bad as the Atlantic does, you know.
Now, the Federal government failed in its response to Katrina, but I think we can all agree that NOAA did a great job of predicting the path of the hurricane. 58 hours before landfall the Mr. Mayfield and the National Weather Service predicted the path of Katrina within 12 miles.
I thank you all for your testimony.
Witness Panel 1
Brigadier General Benjamin J. SpragginsDirectorHarrison County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency
Mr. Max MayfieldDirectorNational Hurricane Center
Major General Stanhope S. SpearsAdjunct GeneralSouth Carolina Military Department