Wednesday, January 23, 2008
FEMA's Katrina trailers: The disaster continues

Sean Callebs
360 Correspondent


Maybe it's a lasting tribute to how poorly the federal government was prepared for Hurricane Katrina.

But once again, the infamous FEMA trailers are in the news.

After buying thousands and thousands of trailers that ended up sitting in vacant lots, FEMA wanted to cuts its losses by selling them -- at a big loss.

Well, that plan didn't work out either. Now FEMA's buying them back -- for the same price it paid.. But that's the least of the problem.

There's formaldehyde in the trailers, and people have been getting sick.

That wasn't part of FEMA's disaster planning. But then, as we all know by now, there was so much missing from FEMA's planning.

And now, nearly two and a half years later, taxpayers are still paying the price.
Posted By CNN: 11:37 AM ET
  10 Comments
Sean,
This story doesn't suprise me one bit!! And what plan are you talking about!? LOL It seems to me that FEMA never had a plan and still doesn't! Why don't they just destroy the trailers and eat the cost! I mean how much is it now that we have paid for trailers that haven't even been used and shouldn't be used!? It's ridiculous!!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 12:55 PM ET
The reality is that high levels of formaldehyde is present in most trailers made.
They aren't a home, just shelter for short periods.
I think FEMA should keep the trailers, have them ready for the next disaster and be prepared to carry out all the duties we expect of an agency like FEMA to do. I don't think that's asking too much.

Lorie Ann
Buellton, Calif.
Posted By Blogger Lorie Ann : 1:53 PM ET
And there's people who want the same federal government to take over our health care.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 1:54 PM ET
FEMA had a plan? That's news to me.
Posted By Blogger Grace : 1:56 PM ET
Hi Sean,
Good grief. There are thousands of people without homes in New Orleans. There are thousands of trailers in Hope Arkansas. The twain shall never meet~
The ones that did got sick~
What a debacle this has been.
AT least our President recognizes his own efforts.
Good job marijuana brownie~
Posted By Blogger Betty Ann : 2:20 PM ET
I am just sick over this. FEMA is an embarassment. I hope someone is held accountable for this, but I won't hold my breath.
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 2:44 PM ET
Hi Sean,

Thank you for this timely report. I cannot wait to see it. Here is why I used the term "timely"....

This past weekend my best friend was in NOLA. She texted me and was terribly upset to find an entire community of people still living under a BRIDGE off of the freeway near the edge of town.

Honestly I cannot even verbalize the disgust that she felt after witnessing this scene. Her first comment to me was "it has been almost 3 YEARS - this is an abomination"! She then went on to say that at least AC 360 has not fogotten about NOLA and her residents. It made her appreciate you guys all the more.

Clearly this situation has gone from bad to worse. My heart bleeds for these people and I pledge to do what I can to make it better. If you have any information on what we can do and where we can send money, please post it. Surely I am not the only one who wishes to help out.

Thank you sincerely, Sean. Please keep reporting on NOLA.
Posted By Anonymous Pati McMillan, Camp Hill, PA : 5:36 PM ET
Forget about FEMA ever doing something right. We get that part. What has Nagin done the past two years to help the people? He could have pursued the trailers, he could have pushed and never given up for those trailers, but it's as if he doesn't even care. Altho, FEMA is weak and ineffective, everything isn't the fault of FEMA
Posted By Anonymous dan b. , jackson ms. : 5:52 PM ET
I just got back from St. Bernard's Parish doing work with Habitat for Humanity. You could have told me that the Hurricane was 2 months ago, not over 2 years ago. Looking at block after block of FEMA trailers along side of ruined houses and unbelievable piles of garbage I felt a world away from Chicago. Major retailers such as WalMart remain abandonded and boarded up. They won't come back if the people can't, and still at this point, the people have nothing to come back to. This is a black eye for America. I hope CNN keeps ongoing coverage.
Posted By Anonymous Julie, Elmhurst, Il : 8:56 PM ET
Sean

If FEMA is buying back the trailers, then it may be worth investigating from whom they are buying the trailers.

It is possible that there is a little bit of money making going on.


Robert
Jakarta
Posted By Anonymous Robert - Jakarta : 11:21 PM ET
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