Differing opinions of Richmond's readiness level

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – There was a difference of opinion at City Hall Wednesday night. If another Hurricane Irene hit Richmond tomorrow, the mayor's administration said we would be ready. Some city council members, however, aren't so convinced.

The deputy chief administrative officer for human services gave one of a number of reports the mayor's office has put together in the three weeks since Hurricane Irene. Still, some council members said there's more to be done.

On one hand you have the mayor's administration standing firm in its conviction of readiness. On the other, you have some city council members like Marty Jewell who aren't sure the city could make through another storm unscathed.

Jewell said that's because something is missing in Mayor Dwight Jones' administration.

"Sense of urgency, I'm not seeing it," he maintained. "I expect to see it real soon."

According to Jewell, it wasn't there in Wednesday night's report on how the city should care for its people in the toughest of times.

About twenty pages of the administration's presentation outlined exactly what happened in terms of response during Irene. Only another few, however, detail where we go from here and the lessons learned.

Jewell explained we are in the height of hurricane season and another storm could have hit in the three weeks of talk and not a lot of action.

"This is something that should have been done by now," he told NBC12.

Not all council members agree. Doug Conner has been working with the mayor's office and said it has been cooperating.

"As soon as we discover something we need to tighten up, we're going to go ahead and tighten it up," he told the committee meeting.

This past weekend, we're told officials looked at additional shelter sites and most importantly, a way to get information to the public. Only time will tell if these changes will make a difference the next time a storm hits.

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