The FEMA Ice Follies — “Millions of Dollars are Being Wasted”

FEMA… the government agency synonymous with the F word (in reference to their treatment of the American people in the Gulf). Nothing much seems to have changed since Brownie was replaced and the duct tape man cometh and it appears that FEMA can’t seem to coordinate the ice man cometh, either…

Lisa Myers & the NBC Investigative Unit, have done what journalists do when they are doing their jobs and have investigated why it’s such a problem for FEMA to bring ice to the ravaged Gulf Coast.

Friday, NBC News located hundreds of trucks full of ice sitting around the country: in Maryland, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana. Some had been on trips to nowhere for the past two weeks.

Elizabeth Palmer is a truck driver in Carthage, Mo.

“We really don’t understand,” said Palmer, “why FEMA is sending to all these different locations and just putting us in cold storage.”

Dan Wessels’ Cool Express ice company has worked with FEMA for years. He says he’s never seen anything like it — only one-third of his trucks have actually unloaded the ice that FEMA ordered.

“The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing,” said Wessels. “The right hand is telling us to go to the left hand. We get to the left hand, they tell us to go back.”

The misrouting of truck of ice is racking up a hefty bill at taxpayers expense, to the tune of millions of dollars…

For example, one truck of ice left Oshkosh, Wis., on Sept. 6, and went to Louisiana. Then it was sent by FEMA to Georgia but was rerouted before it arrived to South Carolina, then to Cumberland, Md., where it has been sitting for three days at an added cost to taxpayers so far of $9,000.

Multiplied by hundreds of trucks, this sort of dispatching could mean millions of dollars are being wasted.

“From a trucking aspect, I’m happy. Keep it coming,” said Wessels. “From a taxpayer aspect, it’s sick.”

Typically a FEMA official makes a ridiculous claim…

A FEMA official says, in the rush to respond to Katrina, the agency ordered too much ice. Rather than let it melt, they sent it to other parts of the country to be ready for the next hurricane.

Meanwhile, the mis-management, re-routing of trucks and waste of taxpayer’s money continues…

But Wessels says FEMA just ordered more ice and re-routed some of his trucks again — to Idaho.

It’s no small wonder that Democrats are worried about who’s minding the store, or the federal purse strings, for that matter. There’s only one solution in my eyes, duct tape the whole cabal together and ship them off to parts unknown!

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About Pamela Leavey

Pamela Leavey is the Editor in Chief, Owner/Publisher of The Democratic Daily as well as a freelance writer and photographer. Pamela holds a certificate in Contemporary Communications from UMass Lowell, a Journalism Certificate from UMass Amherst and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Digital Age Communications from UMass Amherst UWW.
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