Online Story Contribution, Hurricane Digital Memory Bank

The horror of the storm is compounded daily by the outrageous \"policies\" of the insurance companies, and the utter disorganization of FEMA and the Corps of Engineers. When Katrina hit Waveland, Mississippi, the wall of water, (that the insurance companies refer to as \"flood waters\"), was about 36 feet high. Katrina was a Force 3 hurricane when it hit shore, but it was pushing Force 5 seas. People who lived outside the established flood zone were not required to have flood insurance, so most (if any) did not. Since the insurance companies have declared this damage to be flood related, most people are getting nothing. FEMA adds insult to injury with it\'s late response, inadequate preparedness, and it\'s inablity to even be aware of the situation in Mississippi. Five months after the storm that literally wiped homes from the slabs they rested on, people are living in tents on those same slabs. While FEMA trailers sit in pastures in Texas, families shiver in their tents in 38 degree/ 75% humidity weather. The Army Corps of Engineers is equally inept at their handling of the situation. While contractors from around North America rushed to help the Gulf Coast clean up, the Corps is bogging them down with rules about things like \'how far over the Right-of-Way is this pile of debris?\'. If it is 6 inches over, cut the pile there with the equipment, and only take that on the private property. Likewise for the contractors removing debris from the Right-of-Way. If the piles are within 10 feet of power lines, the contractors cannot take it. Some days, stumps can be put on top of a load in the debris trucks. Some days not. Some days the crews can pick up \"clean whites\" (household appliances with NO food or perishables in them). Other days they cannot. Sometimes they can take bicycles, sometimes they can take lawn mowers. The workers never know from day to day what the rules will be, because the people running the operations don\'t know. Why FEMA didn\'t call on an agency that\'s actually implemented an emergency action plan, we\'ll never know. Every summer, the US Forest Service responds to forest fires with swift action and efficient operations. There is little bickering over who is \"the boss\", there is relatively little time wasted in getting the neccessary supplies. Shame on the government for it\'s atrocious handling of this situation. While most of us breath easy until June (beginning of hurrincane season), some of us do wonder how it will be handled next time.

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Citation

Erin Cahill, “Online Story Contribution, Hurricane Digital Memory Bank,” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed May 24, 2018, http://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/1807.