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Irene another test of capital's disaster prep

By Ben Nuckols

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Aug. 27 2011 4:51 p.m. MDT

Tourists walk by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial as the wind and rain from Hurricane Irene reaches Washington, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011. The dedication of the memorial scheduled from Sunday has been postponed because of the approaching hurricane.

J. David Ake, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Four days after an earthquake that damaged two of its iconic structures, the nation's capital is bracing for a hurricane that could test its ability to protect its most vulnerable residents.

On Saturday morning, District of Columbia officials were struggling to distribute sandbags, with residents enduring long waits before the sandbags ran out.

In the impoverished Anacostia neighborhood, many people said they weren't prepared for the storm. And they were unconvinced that the district government would do much to help them.

Retired district water department employee Kevin Holloway says he doesn't think Washington is equipped for a big storm or an evacuation.

Many residents say they're unaccustomed to hurricanes. And some say they don't have the money to stock up on food and bottled water.

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