FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 23, 2005
FIRST LADY MARSHA BARBOUR’S MISSION TO THE COAST
(Jackson, Miss.) – First Lady Marsha Barbour continues to run supplies to the storm-shattered cities along the coast, and has facilitated nonstop individual and community needs by working with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Red Cross, the Highway Patrol and the National Guard.
“She rode out the storm in Hattiesburg with us,” Department of Public Safety Commissioner George Phillips said. “After the winds subsided, she was with our team of first responders in the initial convoy into Gulfport. Mississippi Department of Transportation workers and National Guard members literally cut their way to the coast with chain saws, pushing debris off U.S. 49 with front-end loaders.” A journey that would normally take one hour, took more than seven.
From the moment hurricane Katrina made landfall, Mrs. Barbour has visited the coast almost every day. Whether delivering diapers by pickup truck to mothers, attending a mayors meeting on behalf of her husband, or going on looting patrol with law enforcement officers, Mrs. Barbour has responded.
At a meeting with a dozen mayors in Gulfport – who call themselves “Mayors on a Mission” – she thanked leaders for their tireless efforts. “I am willing to facilitate anything I can to help you. I only see Haley at night, but I do get the last word,” Mrs. Barbour said.
When it comes to meeting with FEMA and the Red Cross, Mrs. Barbour is adamant that the needs of Mississippians are met. In fact, Wednesday she invited Whoopi Goldberg to FEMA Headquarters to meet with top officials and address issues.
“Mississippi citizens are really encouraged to see Marsha on the front line helping us day after day,” said Buz Olsen, Economic and Community Development Director for the City of Bay St. Louis. “She is identifying problems and helping us find solutions.”