Folks still living in tents, FEMA trailers months after Hurricane Ike

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In an AP wire story a couple of days ago, Juan A. Lozano reports that hundreds of southeast Texas residents are living in tents and FEMA trailers months after Hurricane Ike–upwards of 5,000 trailers are needed.

Lozano writes that “last week, FEMA Administrator David Paulison as well as Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff have visited southeast Texas, promising to get trailers much more quickly to residents.

“‘We have plenty of units. It’s finding the spots,” Paulison said. “As we are finding the spots, we are putting them down very quickly. We are going to see this process really start taking off.’

“FEMA spokesman Simon Chabel said local zoning regulations and getting waivers allowing trailers to be placed in floodplains have slowed the process. He also says FEMA has provided more than $294 million in housing assistance for repairs and rental assistance and another $253 million in low interest loans for home repairs.

“‘It’s unfortunate we can’t drop houses overnight on people who need them,’ he said.

“As of Thursday, 921 mobile homes were occupied, most of them in Orange County where Bridge City is located. An additional 697 are being installed. FEMA says the area needs 3,800 trailers; local officials say the number is at least 5,000.”

Read more by clicking “here.”

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