30-mile pile a symbol of FEMA delays
SMITH POINT, Texas - A 30-mile scar of debris
along the Texas coast stands as a festering testament to what state and
local officials say is FEMA's sluggish response to the 2008 hurricane
Two and a
half months after Hurricane Ike blasted the shoreline, alligators and
snakes crawl over vast piles of shattered building materials, lawn
furniture, trees, boats, tanks of butane and other hazardous
substances, thousands of animal carcasses, perhaps even the corpses of
people killed by the storm.
and local officials complain that the removal of the filth has gone
almost nowhere because FEMA red tape has held up both the cleanup work
and the release of the millions of dollars that Chambers County says it
needs to pay for the project.
FEMA says they are working as fast as they can, given the red tape and regulations. Apparently they have to figure out who's land it is before they can clean it up!
What?? After a storm like Ike? Shouldn't this be a case where the government goes in, does what needs to be done. It's not just a matter of debris, there are also chemicals and animal remains in this mess!
The federal government is responsible for public lands or hazardous
waste, while private landowners must handle their own cleanup but can
apply for assistance. Much of the debris has been left to rot while
crews determine whose land the junk is on and what's in it.
Mold is a danger after disasters like this. We all remember pictures of New Orleans after Katrina. This is also an area where mold can take off overnight, and this debris is wet from the storms, and the area is still warm enough to promote the growth of mold.
This is disgusting! Will January 20 ever get here?
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