Brown Poufed Hair As Katrina Hit, E-mails Say
Posted on May 10, 2006
Former FEMA director Michael “Heckuva Job” Brown told an aide he was “sitting in the chair, putting mousse in my hair” as he waited for a media interview immediately after the Aug. 29 disaster began. He also disputed that levees quickly broke—despite getting reports to that effect.
Former FEMA director Michael Brown disputed that floodwaters had breached New Orleans’ levees in the early hours after Hurricane Katrina roared ashore, new e-mails released Tuesday show.
The 928 pages of e-mails, obtained and released by the Center for Public Integrity, also portray Brown and the Federal Emergency Management Agency as obsessed with media coverage in the days leading up to and immediately following the Aug. 29, 2005, disaster. At one point early that morning, Brown reported to an aide that he was “sitting in the chair, putting mousse in my hair,” as he waited for media interviews to begin.
Later that morning, at 9:50 a.m., a FEMA staffer at the National Hurricane Center sent department brass an alert from a local TV station report that “a levee breach occurred along the industrial canal” near the city’s low-income Ninth Ward.
Former FEMA director Michael Brown