WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Friday he is worried the Gulf Coast may not be ready to withstand another major storm as it struggles to recover from Hurricane Katrina. Less than 100 days before the start of the next hurricane season on June 1, Chertoff said his department is working now with state and local officials to develop plans for evacuations and other emergency response priorities. But with so much of Louisiana and Mississippi still under reconstruction with partly rebuilt homes and numerous house trailers, “I personally am very concerned,” he said. “I can’t tell you when the next hurricane is going to come, or where it’s going to come, but I can envision a scenario in which it will head into a partly reconstructed area that will be vulnerable,” Chertoff told reporters. The Bush administration has approved spending $3 billion to rebuild New Orleans’ levees to a strength sufficient to withstand a storm as strong as Katrina. About 80 percent of the city was flooded when water surged through the levees in some spots after the hurricane struck last Aug. 29. The Army Corps of Engineers has set a goal of repairing […]

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