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"Sir, I know that you know the situation is past critical. Here some things you might not know. Hotels are kicking people out, thousands gathering in the streets with no food or water. Hundreds still being rescued from homes.
"The dying patients at the DMAT (disaster medical assistance team) tent being medivac. Estimates are many will die within hours. Evacuation in process. Plans developing for dome evacuation but hotel situation adding to problem. We are out of food and running out of water at the dome, plans in works to address the critical need.
"FEMA staff is OK and holding own. DMAT staff working in deplorable conditions. The sooner we can get the medical patients out, the sooner we can get them out.
"Phone connectivity impossible." - Marty Bahamonde, FEMA regional director, to Brown, describing the situation in New Orleans on Aug. 31.
Brown's response: "Thanks for update. Anything specific I need to do or tweak?"