Nearly a week after Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast, the federal government is ramping up its response.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says the challenge is daunting. He says people throughout the region "are in dire straits."
President Bush has ordered more than seven-thousand active duty forces to the region. And another ten-thousand National Guard troops are being added to 30-thousand already there.
The president tomorrow plans a second visit to the region, saying, "In America, we do not abandon our fellow citizens in their hour of need." His administration has been taking considerable heat for what's seen as a sluggish response to a disaster that killed countless thousands and left tens of thousands stranded in abject misery.
Chertoff heads to New Orleans today. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld flies to Louisiana and Mississippi. Secretary of State Rice is in Alabama.