AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas officials are angry with the federal
emergency response to Hurricane Ike victims in southeast Texas.
They accused the Federal Emergency Management Agency today of
insensitivity and foot-dragging in providing trailers and money.
Jack Colley is the state's director of emergency management. He
told the state Senate Transportation and Homeland Security
Committee today that he believes FEMA should be removed from the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security and placed under the
president's direct control.
Kevin Hamby is general counsel of the state Department of
Housing and Community Affairs. He says fewer than 200 trailers are
available for people to occupy on their property while their homes
are being repaired. He says FEMA officials had promised 300
trailers a week. The state agency estimates that 3,000 to 6,000
trailers are needed.
While the federal agency has offered to pay for displaced
residents to stay in hotels and motels, few rooms are available in
the hard-hit area.
FEMA spokesman Simon Chabel insists that the agency is acting
quickly and responding "in a way that's compassionate."