Obama Responds to Gustav

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Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said yesterday he will use his vast political network of donors and volunteers to help victims of Hurricane Gustav after it makes landfall.

Gustav is on course to hit the Gulf Coast near New Orleans early Monday, almost exactly three years to the day after Hurricane Katrina destroyed whole areas of the city, leaving about 1,800 people dead across the region.

“I think we can get tons of volunteers to travel down there, if it becomes necessary,” Obama told reporters after attending St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Lima, Ohio. “I think we can activate an e-mail list of a couple of million people who want to give back,” he said.

Before sending out volunteers, Obama said he would ask officials in the affected areas what is most needed. Donations could include cash, goods and individual labor, he said.

Obama is considering visiting the storm-damaged areas. He doesn’t want to go if it will be a distraction or a resource drain for the affected areas because of security concerns.

Hurricane Gustav has weakened to a category two storm, with the eyewall moving onto the southeastern Louisiana coast, according to the National Weather Service.

A hurricane warning remains in effect from High Island, Texas, eastward to the Mississippi-Alabama borders, including the city of New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain.

As a result of Gustav, the Republican National Convention has been scaled back and President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have both cancelled plans to attend. Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain has not decided whether he will attend.

McCain, who was extremely critical of Bush’s response to Katrina, visited Mississippi on Sunday ahead of the storm’s landfall.

Deborah Creighton Skinner is the editorial director for BlackEnterprise.com.

  • brenda westbrook and cahterine crafts

    We the westbrooks and crafts family had to travel Pensacola ,fl for shelter from hurricane Gustav and our little fund that we had was used for Hotel and food which has ran out. We have been here since satuarday Aug 30, 2008. We need all the assiatance that are avaliable for us.We did not aspect to have to stay longer, but as we look at the news we will have to be here until friday Sept 05, 2008 , since the highway is not clear for travel back to Houma , la which is our home. Please send some kind of help to us to comodate for our situation. We are staying at hospitally inn and the rooms a re 67.00 per night. We are on a fixed income

    Thank you in advance
    westbrook and craft family

  • Troy

    We had scores of people coming up to us and talking about Barack Obama’s position on abortion. Even many dyed-in-the-wool Democrats had no idea he is so extremely pro-abortion that he doesn’t even want to protect babies born alive!!!