Local disputes such as one stewing in New Orleans are holding up the placement of thousands of temporary trailer homes for Hurricane Katrina evacuees, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Friday.
Acting FEMA director R. David Paulison's remarks came as Mayor Ray Nagin was telling reporters that his emergency powers will allow him to bypass a City Council ordinance requiring approval from individual council members before the federal government can place trailer parks for hurricane evacuees in their districts.
"I'm not going to get involved in local politics," Paulison said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "All I can say is we have a lot of mobile homes and travel trailers ready to install, and the city and the mayor need to let us know where they want them."
FEMA said only eight of Louisiana's 64 parishes (the state's equivalent of a county) are allowing the agency to establish trailer parks with no significant restrictions. Thirty-two have said no, and another 24 have set various restrictions. Some of the restrictions, Paulison said are unreasonable, such as a requirement that only evacuated parish residents be allowed to live in there.
All of the members of the New Orleans City Council want to approve the locations of the FEMA trailer parks in their districts. So, the mayor and the City Council are at odds about this. My homestate continues its tradition of corruption. That would be one thing, but they could at least be effective, if they are going to be corrupt.
I haven't been able to find an article concerning a situation I heard about from a resident. Apparently there are many Vietnamese that are living in tents near their homes in New Orleans East, because the local officials have yet to approve the spots for the FEMA trailers to go. The trailers, apparently, are ready and waiting.