September 17,2005 - Posted at 3:10 p.m.CDT
MEMPHIS, TN - The fury Hurricane Katrina unleashed on the Gulf Coast and the slow government response have added new urgency to emergency planning near the New Madrid Fault, a deep network of fissures in the earth's crust running from southern Illinois to northern Arkansas.
Everyone knew Hurricane Katrina was headed for the Gulf Coast,but thousands of people were still trapped by the storm and flooding. It could be even worse in Memphis because no one can predict when an earthquake will hit. Shelby County Mayor A-C Wharton is among a growing list of officials, including Tennessee Governor Bredesen, who are callingfor more disaster preparedness in the New Madrid region.
Tennessee Senators Bill Frist and Lamar Alexander and Congressman Harold Ford Junior of Memphis are seeking more federal money for disaster planning in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.