FEMA chief says storms have “strained” resources

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the hurricanes that have struck the U.S. and its territories this year – four so far – have “strained” resources.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long told ABC’s “This Week” that some 85 percent of the agency’s forces were deployed and still working on issues created by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and now Nate.

He said that “in regards to resources, of course we’re strained” because “nearly 85 percent of my entire agency is deployed right now. We’re still working massive issues in Harvey, Irma, as well as the issues in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and now this one.”

Nate struck the U.S. as a Category 1 storm on Saturday but has since weakened substantially. The National Hurricane Center in Miami downgraded the storm to “tropical depression” strength and discontinued all hurricane and storm surge warnings and watches for the Gulf Coast.

Winds gusts of tropical storm force were expected over the Florida Panhandle and portions of Alabama and Georgia on Sunday, the hurricane center said. Water levels remained elevated along portions of the northern Gulf Coast, but were expected to gradually subside by midday Sunday.

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