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President Cuts Short Vacation Due to Hurricane

President Bush will return to Washington D.C. Wednesday, ending his Texas ranch vacation to help oversee recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina.

The president will arrive back in Washington on Wednesday, two days ahead of schedule, to oversee recovery operations in the southern Gulf coast states hard hit by the hurricane.

He says America's prayers are with the victims.

"These are trying times for people in these communities," said Mr. Bush. "We know that many are anxious to return to their homes. It is not possible at this moment."

Mr. Bush says the priority now is on saving lives, noting search and rescue operations are underway. He says recovery teams and equipment are in place and they are moving in to help the victims.

"The federal, state and local governments are working side by side to do all we can to help people get back on their feet and we have got a lot of work to do," added Mr. Bush.

The president made the comments in a speech to a military audience in San Diego, California. He had planned to return to his Texas ranch after the address for a few more days of vacation. Instead, a spokesman said he would go back to the ranch for one night, and then return to Washington.