Publication:20121014014812

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Title FEMA Director Allbaugh with Bryant Gumbel, CBS Early Show
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Publication Date 2001/10/04
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Authors Bryant Gumbel, Joe Allbaugh
Number of Pages 3
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http://www.fema.gov/doc/diz01/gumbel1004.doc

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http://web.archive.org/web/20031211095910/http://www.fema.gov/doc/diz01/gumbel1004.doc

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Company or Agency FEMA
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sha1 73fbc8f4accdcc7fc0df80ce6647322c938c84e6

FEMA Director Allbaugh with Bryant Gumbel, CBS Early Show 10/04/01

BRYANT GUMBEL: The Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to pull its last rescue team from the World Trade Center rubble by the end of this week. FEMA’s director Joe Allbaugh is in town checking the progress at “Ground Zero.” Mr. Allbaugh, good morning.

FEMA DIRECTOR JOE ALLBAUGH: Good morning, Bryant.

GUMBEL: What’s the significance of pulling your last rescue team out of there?

ALLBAUGH: Well, actually we’ve had 21 teams come through New York City in the last three weeks. Nothing really significant, other than their expertise is at the end of their time here, quite frankly. Should Mayor Giuliani or Governor Pataki or Frank Cruthers, New York City Fire Chief, want any of our teams back, we’ll bring them back in a heartbeat.

GUMBEL: But it is an admission that there’s nobody there left alive.

ALLBAUGH: Right now they’re on standby, and hope is diminishing. We all hope for a miracle, but, quite frankly, after three weeks, we need to move on to the next phase of this recovery operation.

GUMBEL: You’ve been, you spent most of the time since the attacks here in New York City, at the site.

ALLBAUGH: I have, indeed.

GUMBEL: But yesterday you were touring there for the first time since last week. What were you struck by?

ALLBAUGH: There has been a lot of debris removed, about 350,000 tons. We’re now up to about 1.5 million tons. It is a site that is very technical. A lot of pipe-fitters, steel workers, iron workers, construction workers taking over from those honorable Fire and Police individuals who have been at the site. It is a long recovery process and we’re working as diligently and as quickly as we can.

GUMBEL: When’s it realistic to think the debris will all be gone?

ALLBAUGH: Well, I think we’ll be down to ground level, with the four to eight stories that are still remaining above ground, by Christmas, somewhere around there. It will take several months after the first of the year to get to the rest of the six floors below ground.

GUMBEL: Yeah. We’re seeing a lot of video of smoke pouring up from the debris.

ALLBAUGH: Correct.

GUMBEL: And we’re hearing there are places where temperatures are still approaching and sometimes exceeding a thousand degrees.

ALLBAUGH: That’s right.

GUMBEL: Why? Why do we have these hot spots? What’s going on?

ALLBAUGH: Well, you have normal debris, you know, computers, paper, you have some areas that are hot pockets because of fuel. It’s just too hot for rescuers to get into those areas. So we do not know yet what’s in those areas, other than very hot, molten material. And in some cases we’re providing geographic information to help Frank Cruthers and his team do the search sites. And it’s very valuable information.

GUMBEL: Mmm-hmm. FEMA’s task is not only the clean up but also assisting those victimized.

ALLBAUGH: Absolutely.

GUMBEL: The President has allocated two billion for this right now. How much of that is going to go to assisting the victims?

ALLBAUGH: As much as necessary. I’m very concerned about family members of the victims, making sure that they get the proper crisis counseling, as well as those displaced workers who might live in the Bronx but yet work downtown, they’ve lost their jobs. We can help them with temporary housing or temporary unemployment assistance. We want to make sure they’re taken care of. This is going to be months…


GUMBEL: Is that word getting out, I mean, do people…?

ALLBAUGH: I believe it is, Bryant, I really do. We have an 800 number that everyone is utilizing and they have to register in order to start the Federal flow of funds. But this is going to be years to recover emotionally. Now, remember in 1995, Oklahoma City took place.

GUMBEL: Uh-huh.

ALLBAUGH: There are many folks… My home state. Many folks there, who were victims, that are still trying to recover.

GUMBEL: Do you have a handle, yet, what the bottom line cost is going to be, in terms of assistance?

ALLBAUGH: Absolutely not.

GUMBEL: Do you even have a ballpark figure?

ALLBAUGH: No, I really don’t. And I don’t think it matters, quite frankly. The American public will see that everything is done. The Congress has the will, President Bush has made the commitment to Governor Pataki and Mayor Giuliani. We will do, as Americans, what is necessary to get back on track.

GUMBEL: All right. Joe Allbaugh, thanks. You’re a busy man; we’ll let you go.

ALLBAUGH: Good to see you, Bryant.

GUMBEL: Thank you.

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