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Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Tick, Tock

National Hurricane Center Chief Max Mayfield briefs the President via teleconference Sunday August 28th

St. Petersburg Times, August 30

At 11 p.m. Friday [August 26], more than two days before Katrina reached land, the hurricane specialists said the hurricane would make landfall in the bayous of Louisiana, east of New Orleans...Saturday night, Mayfield was so worried about Hurricane Katrina that he called the governors of Louisiana and Mississippi and the mayor of New Orleans. On Sunday, he even talked about the force of Katrina during a video conference call to President Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Press Briefing by Scott McClellen 1:26PM EDT

Q: When did the President know that Katrina was the kind of hurricane that could overtop the levees?

MR. McCLELLAN: I appreciate you wanting to get into some of the factual tick-tock questions...A lot of the media reports that were coming out Monday, Monday night, Tuesday morning were expressing that it had missed the massive flooding that some had projected in a worst-case scenario.

Q: The President of the United States was getting his information about this major disaster from the media?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, no...The President was getting regular updates from people in the region and from people here in Washington, D.C.

Q: But you can't tell me when he was -- was he told by Max Mayfield or others on Saturday or Sunday, Mr. President, this is the big one, this could really flood New Orleans. When did he hear that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Absolutely, Terry.

Photo: White House
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