White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs released the following statement regarding the briefing Mr Obama received this morning on the flooding in the Southeast:
“This morning, President Obama was briefed by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security John Brennan on the ongoing efforts in response to the severe weather and flooding in Tennessee and other southeastern states. The federal government has been engaged in the response since this weekend, with FEMA representatives on the ground working directly with state and local officials. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, at the request of the President and the Secretary of Homeland Security, will be traveling throughout the state of Tennessee today and tomorrow to view the damage, meet with state and local officials, and receive on the ground briefings on the response efforts.
This is the Administrator’s second trip to the state since last weekend’s severe weather and flooding. On Monday Administrator Fugate visited Nashville, where he met with the Governor and local officials to discuss federal support for the response. The President also spoke with Governor Bredesen earlier this week, and the President and his staff have been receiving regular updates on the situation from FEMA. In addition, President Obama spoke earlier this week with the governors of Kentucky, Mississippi and Arkansas. FEMA representatives are on the ground in those states, as well as Louisiana, and are working closely with state officials to assess the damages from the severe weather and determine any needs for additional federal resources. The President asked Mr. Brennan to ensure that the federal government continues to respond swiftly to any requests for further assistance and requested ongoing updates on the situation.”