Mayor Bill White just told ABC13's Miya Shay that they have cut out the state and are directly working with FEMA for the points of distribution for relief distribution. White said this was not part of the plan, but the state does not have the resources.
The original plan called for the State of Texas to distribute the FEMA supplies. Within minutes of Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff walking into an afternoon briefing Sunday, Mayor White and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett were told that the state was not equipped to distribute supplies. That's when Houston and Harris County mobilized thousands of their employees, something they were very willing to do.
"I really like this fact, at one point the state of Texas wasn't trying to hold on to some responsibility, but given the devastation of coastal areas, the state has limited resources," said Mayor White. "We're all members of the same team. If we can fill in and backfill for them, fine.
It is no secret that the Mayor is not happy with the state's response. Last night he was quite angry that the state did dumped the distribution of resources onto local officials and FEMA without warning.
Mayor White said the city will try to open more distribution sites. He added, "If we run out of supplies, we'll try to get more."