What happened to those FEMA trailers stored in Hearne?

HEARNE, Tex. (KBTX) It wasn't long after tornadoes touched down last weekend in the Brazos Valley that some residents began asking why FEMA wasn't offering up some of its unused mobile homes stored in Hearne to help those affected by the violent storms.

Before we explain why that won't happen, let's flashback to February.

That's when KBTX learned in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, thousands of manufactured homes were shipped to and stored at the Hearne Municipal Airport where they would be inspected before being shipped to families in need.

The trailers that went unused remained at the airport and eventually were sold to third-party bidders in an online auction.

FEMA says it will periodically sell surplus housing units, and that's what happened in this case.

So why not use those leftover homes to help those impacted by recent storms?

FEMA says manufactured homes that are stored for several years can contain materials and products that begin to fail with time.

Internal adhesives may fail after many hot and cold weather cycles, and natural deterioration occurs for asphaltic roofs and other internal and external components.

FEMA says in some cases it would cost more to upgrade and refurbish the homes instead of buying newer units. That's why they're auctioned off for cheap to anyone willing to pay up.

So, what happened to the mobile homes being stored in Hearne?

A spokesperson for FEMA this week told KBTX they're no longer there.

The lease with the city of Hearne expired and the leftover units were moved to a more permanent storage location in Beeville - a small community located between San Antonio and Corpus Christi.

We checked the government's online web site Friday night and found more than 100 units for sale at that location - but all the units there are less than a year old.

If you want to see those RVs and mobile homes for yourself, click on this link and type "Beeville" in the search box.

So far, no federal funds have been earmarked to help our local communities impacted by the April storms.

Even if FEMA gives the green light for federal dollars to be directed to local disaster areas, it could take months for it to happen, according to Roberton County Emergency Operations Center Coordinator Billy Huggins.

Robertson County officials say 55 homes, one church, four businesses, a duplex and part of the local housing authority were destroyed last Saturday when an EF-3 tornado tore through Franklin.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Wednesday issued a disaster declaration for 9 counties affected by severe weather last weekend.

Robertson, Leon, and Madison Counties are included in the declaration that authorizes the use of all available resources of state government to aid in response efforts.

"We just need the feds to approve it to start getting the help we need," said Huggins. "The state has sent assistance in the way of personnel to help us prepare all the collected data needed to determine total storm costs. Then that helps get the state closer to receiving federal help from FEMA."

When it comes to individual assistance for victims who lost property in the tornado Huggins says the EOC has been working with several agencies that are helping get families back on their feet. He advises anyone in Robertson County who needs assistance to contact the EOC at 979-828-6680.