THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
As Hurricane Opal hits the coast of the southern United States, our hearts and prayers go out to all whose lives have been disrupted by the devastation. The people of Florida and Alabama have shown great courage and strength in dealing with the damage that has already been done and I know they will continue to show courage as the hours progress.
I want the states affected by this terrible storm to know that the rest of America is with them. One of the basic values of America is the responsibility to stand with each other in times of need. I will do all I can to ensure you get the federal support you need for successful recovery efforts. Tonight I have signed emergency declarations to supplement state and local recovery efforts in both Florida and Alabama. James Lee Witt, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will be on the ground coordinating efforts in the South to save lives and protect the health, safety and property of those affected by Hurricane Opal.
The action I am taking tonight will now enable us to immediately send rescue teams into the affected areas. Please be assured that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will mobilize all necessary resources to help these states recover from the damage. And, be assured that the prayers of our entire nation are with you.