Telegram to the Governor of Mississippi Tendering Federal Assistance in Removing a Sunken Chlorine Barge.
AS YOU requested, I have declared a "major disaster" under authority of Public Law 8751 because of the potential hazard to health and safety in those areas of the State of Mississippi threatened by the liquid chlorine on the sunken barge approximately 71/4 miles south of Natchez.
1 64 Stat. 1109.
I have authorized the use of such Federal funds as are necessary to underwrite the expenses required for your use of appropriate elements of the Mississippi National Guard including its personnel and equipment as may be necessary to support the plan for protection of the civil population.
Despite the extreme care being exercised by all concerned in the removal of the barge and its cargo, I am informed by the Corps of Engineers and Public Health Service that a very substantial hazard exists if a release of the gas should occur. For this reason I urge that the plan. For the safety of the affected population be most carefully developed and reviewed to provide maximum protection. I am asking Mr. McDermott to work with you, your authorities and the Mayor of Natchez to this end.
Representatives of the Office of Emergency Planning will assist you in the execution of the necessary documents to effect the assistance authorized.
I sincerely hope that the entire operation proceeds safely and rapidly.
JOHN F. KENNEDY
[Honorable Ross R. Barnett, Governor of Mississippi, Jackson, Miss.]
John F. Kennedy, Telegram to the Governor of Mississippi Tendering Federal Assistance in Removing a Sunken Chlorine Barge. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/236004