FEMA, ICE, and again WTF?

I thought FEMA was out of the ice business. Theyhad announced that some months ago.Last week ABC reported
on that new policy and its effects in Texas post Hurricane Ike,
including that there was a desperate need for ice in Texas but there
has been escalating confusion “over who is in charge of ice and how and
where survivors can get it.”

Yet FEMA did have ice–now to melt.

Yesterday theHouston Chronicle reportedthat FEMA was unloading thousands of pallets of ice to melt in the sun:

SEGUIN — Thousands of pallets of ice, originally dispatched for areas
ravaged by Hurricane Ike, melted in the sun today on a runway at
Randolph Auxiliary Air Field here, with more trucks lining up to unload
more ice.

The Chronicle article reports that FEMA is considering this as “evidence that FEMA was well prepared for Ike.”

“That ice is surplus ice from the original requests from state, county
and local authorities before the scope of the hurricane was known,”
said FEMA spokesman Richard Scorza. “We try to anticipate the needs for
various commodities. The good news is it addressed the immediate needs
of the population and there are no shortages.”

FEMA Prohibited Truckers from Talking to Press

The Chronicle article goes on to report that FEMA officials refused
to allow reporters onto the base or stand outside the fence of the base
on a public road to interview truckers.

When some truckers consented to an interview, a man wearing a FEMA
shirt arrived on a golf cart within moments and threatened to have the
truckers fired.

“This conversation is over,” he told the truckers. “Or you guys will not be here any longer.”

A security guard at the gate said the truckers had all signed an agreement not to speak to news media.

One trucker, contacted by phone, agreed to speak if his name was not published.

He said he picked up his 40,000-pound load of ice in Maryland last
Wednesday and arrived in Houston near midnight Saturday, where he sat
until he was sent to Seguin today to have the ice unloaded.

That trucker said he had seen at least 125 trucks unloading ice.

If you read comments to
the Chronicle article there are people who say they still need ice even

I just can not understand Why, Why, Why it is so damn hard to get
ice to people in a disaster zone without there being a damn ball of
confusion. Really WTF?

4 thoughts on “FEMA, ICE, and again WTF?

  1. Drove ice from Maryland to Houston then sat in a terminal?
    This guy really, really needs to be telling his story to the Congressional hearings into the ongoing charlie foxtrot that is FEMA under the Bush administration.
    I have kin and friends in Houston and South Texas who still need ice. No shortages my sweet aunt Fanny.

  2. It’s not about the ice, it’s about the trucking.
    At least these guys aren’t being paid to drive empty trucks through Anbar.

  3. It should be commented that:
    1) All Ice in Seguin was contracted for procurement and managed by the Army Corps. of Engineers (FEMA does not do Ice).
    2) The article continuously quoted here (and everywhere else on the web) has already been proved to consist of false claims and fabrications by an over-zealous reported. The exaggerations of one reported looking to sell a story for national syndication does not make it factual. (Don’t believe everything you read).
    3) Members of the Press were invited onto the FEMA Staging site to disprove the claims of this reporter. They went, they saw, they spoke with FEMA personnel and Truck Drivers alike, they took pictures and then they left satisfied that the claims made in this article were fabricated.
    4) All requests by Cities, Counties and any non-profit organizations for Ice in Texas and elsewhere were (and continue to be) fulfilled by FEMA (who works with the Army Corps. of Engineers to coordinate where the resources have been requested).

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