I spoke this afternoon with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell to hear firsthand about her visit today to Surfside, FL and the scene of the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers residential building. What I heard from Administrator Criswell was excruciating: she reiterated that words can’t describe the scene on the ground and she gave me an update on meetings she had with state and local officials to ensure they have everything they need.
I am grateful for the heroic first responders, search and rescue teams, and all FEMA, state, county, local, and volunteer personnel who are working around the clock to try to save lives and for those who are dedicated to helping survivors with many needs, including temporary housing. We will continue to coordinate closely with officials on the ground throughout this terrible ordeal and my administration is ready to provide any support or assistance that is needed.
This is an unimaginably difficult time for the families enduring this tragedy. For those who are waiting in anguish for word of their loved ones as search and rescue efforts continue in the aftermath of this catastrophic incident, the pain of the uncertainty is an added, heartbreaking burden. My heart goes out to every single person suffering during this awful moment.