The Bush administration, eager to avoid repeating the error-prone response to Hurricane Katrina, mounted a broad mobilization of government assistance on Saturday to areas of Texas and Louisiana slammed by Hurricane Rita.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said that while the storm remains dangerous, no fatalities as a result of the storm have been reported.
President George W. Bush, who monitored the hurricane from a command post in Colorado, and other federal officials cautioned residents of Texas and western Louisiana against returning to their homes. Urban search and rescue teams already were in the stricken area and "we got quite a few people out," Paulison said. He said medical teams were already treating people in Houston.
Paulison said he had no assessment yet on the damage to the oil industry. The area has the country's largest concentration of oil refineries. Paulison called the breaching of some levees in New Orleans because of heavy rain from Rita a setback that can be overcome. New Orleans bore the brunt of Hurricane Katrina three weeks ago, AP reports.
Rescuers found the pilot of one of the two Su-34 fighters that had collided in midair in the Far East on January 18