Arkansas Congressman Mike Ross says thousands of mobile homes ordered for Hurricane Katrina now sit empty in Arkansas. Ross says the empty homes represent a waste of taxpayer money. The Congressman added the homes will become worse as the trailers become mired in mud.
Ross sent a letter to acting Federal Emergency Management Agency director David Paulison. The letter said it's unacceptable for people to still be sleeping in tents and living in hotel rooms nearly four months after the tragedy, when more than 10,000 new and empty manufactured homes are waiting.
Thousands of empty mobile homes that FEMA ordered to house refugees in the wake of the August 29th Gulf Coast storm now sit empty at sites near Texarkana and Hope. Ross, whose district includes Hope, wrote that staging areas are overflowing with trailers. He described the Hope Municipal Airport's runways and tarmacs as overloaded with manufactured homes. Ross added extra homes are being put on surrounding fields and pastures.
According to Ross, these pastures and fields were not effectively prepared by FEMA, and when winter rains hit the 'gumbo' soil will cause the trailers carrying the manufactured homes to sink.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)