President Barack Obama on Tuesday defended his administration’s response to Hurricane Matthew, which left thousands without power and flooded coastal communities in Florida and Texas, calling the flooding “very bad news.”
Obama made his comments in a televised address in which he said the storm had “absolutely” affected the nation’s infrastructure.
The president said the country’s response was not “over,” but he warned the government needs to “learn how to manage the natural disasters.”
“This is very, very bad news for the nation,” Obama said.
“But it’s not just bad news.
It’s also, I think, a very, much worse message than anything we’ve heard in years.
We’ve seen this before.
We’re used to it.
This is not something that we’re going to go away from.””
We have to find a way to manage this and to use our resources and our technology to try to make sure that it’s a manageable situation, but also that it doesn’t overwhelm our ability to make other investments in the future,” he added.
The president said that he believes the federal government has the tools to protect Americans, but the nation is still “very, very slow in responding.”
“When you have a situation like this where the storm surge was so extreme and so fast and there was flooding that was just too big for the people who had to go out there to rescue, that is something that, in some ways, we are a bit slow in reacting to,” he said.
“It’s not like it’s been a week where we’ve had this sort of crisis that’s unprecedented in terms of its size, but it’s still something that’s a very difficult situation to handle.
And so we’ve got to find ways to manage it and we have to learn how to handle the natural events that are out there.””
The president has made it clear that he wants to be a leader in the world.
He wants to lead the world in solving the problems that he sees in the rest of the world,” the president said.ABC News’ John Santucci contributed to this report.