McCain and Palin Make Unscheduled Stop in Mississippi

MISSISSIPPI (KTRE) - Likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain and his chosen vice-presidential running-mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, made a quick trip to Mississippi Sunday.

At the request of Governor Haley Barbour, McCain and Palin got a first hand look at the state's preparation for Hurricane Gustav.

Senator McCain and Governor Palin toured the state's emergency operations center and, with Governor Haley Barbour, sat in on a briefing with President George Bush. The governors of Texas, Louisiana and Alabama were also part of the briefing.

Barbour says the Gulf Region is ready.

"We've done everything we can do, that doesn't mean some things won't go wrong if there's a major disaster, but we're locked and loaded," Barbour said.

McCain says the need will be great after the storm but he expects the country to rise to the challenge.

"Action to help our fellow citizens in this time of tragedy and disaster. Action in the form of volunteering, donations and the reaching out of our hands and our hearts and our wallets to the people who are under such great threat," McCain said.

Barbour and McCain agree lessons have been learned since Katrina, but a lot is still unknown about Gustav and a lot is still left to be done.

"The communications capabilities are dramatically improved, but quite frankly the communications capabilities are still not at the level we want them to be," McCain added.

McCain also will change plans for the Republican National Convention, saying until more is known about what will happen, it's going to be hard to celebrate.