FEMA triples mobile homes

October 15, 2008 7:54:36 AM PDT
FEMA has more than tripled the number of mobile homes for Hurricane Ike victims in four southeast Texas counties in the last week -- raising the number from 18 to 62 -- but officials say thousands more are still needed. ROAD TO RECOVERY: How you can help | Person locator | Important phone numbers | Assistance from FEMA | Filing a claim

"The bottom line is that 62 is just an unsatisfactory number," Orange Mayor William Brown Claybar said Tuesday.

The 62 units reported by FEMA refers to mobile homes and park model trailers occupied as of Tuesday night in Jefferson, Orange, Hardin and Chambers counties.

After Ike hit the region on Sept. 13, flooding left thousands in southeast Texas with uninhabitable homes.

Orange County has requested 4,000 temporary housing units. And Jefferson County Judge Ron Walker has said at least 1,000 more may be needed in his county.

Claybar, the mayor of Orange, reiterated his frustration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which failed for weeks after the storm to get mobile homes to the area.

"We live in the most productive country in the world and 36-foot travel trailers are not rocket science," Claybar said. "I just cannot understand why we cannot get access to more of these units."

At last week's meeting with local officials, FEMA acknowledged it could be several more weeks before the pace of mobile home delivery increased, the Beaumont Enterprise reports in its online editions.

FEMA officials say health concerns contributed to the delay.

Formaldehyde, a chemical linked to cancer and respiratory disease, was found in FEMA trailers that housed thousands after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in 2005, leading to lawsuits. So FEMA officials say that each trailer or mobile home must first be inspected and certified as containing a level of the chemical determined by state health officials to be acceptable.

Keep your family safe this hurricane season. Check our complete tropical weather preparation guide


Load Comments