Update, 11:30 a.m. Tuesday
The Senate has confirmed the nomination of President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The vote was 95-4 on Tuesday for Brock Long.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed the nomination of President Donald Trump's pick t…
Irony alert: The final Senate confirmation of Brock Long as FEMA administrator was supposed to happen Monday night, but it was delayed due to stormy weather in Washington.
Still, it's good news that Long, who once oversaw Alabama's Emergency Management Agency, could face final approval by the full Senate as soon as Tuesday. The better news is that he — like Louisiana's Paul Rainwater, who'd also been considered for the job — has much more relevant than many Trump appointees, and has particular knowledge of the issues facing the region.
New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu and a parade of officials spoke to address storm preparations ahead of tropical weather churning toward Louisiana's coast.
The bad news is that weather doesn't wait. Even assuming the final step of Long's confirmation goes smoothly, the tropical system now approaching the Gulf Coast is a step ahead of him.
The timing serves as a reminder that, while major hurricanes are unlikely to hit this early in the season, even relatively minor weather events can cause havoc. As of Tuesday morning, the storm appeared headed for western Louisiana or eastern Texas, but areas as far east as Florida faced the potential for up to a foot of rain.
It's also a reminder that some other key posts remain vacant, including the top jobs at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Hurricane Center.
The best case scenario for this week is that the forecasts will end up overstating things, and FEMA won't be needed. The second-best is that the professional staff will be called in and will do a good job, which is entirely possible.
The worst case is that the agency will indeed face a major challenge, and won't be ready because the administration and Senate didn't bother to make sure everything was in place for storm season. If that happens, they'll have only themselves to blame for the blowback.
With an above average hurricane season predicted, the lack of leadership at two agencies res…