The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) plans to remove 38 travel trailers that were intended to house hurricane evacuees in a Lafayette, La., RV park but have instead sat empty for more than four months.
The Advocate, Baton Rouge, reported that FEMA has paid $15,600 a month to lease RV pads at Lafayette City-Parish Government’s Acadiana Park Campground since moving the trailers on the site in early November.
But no evacuees have been placed in the trailers because FEMA has not arranged sewer service in line with state sanitary codes.
“We got a 30-day notice that they will pull the trailers out effective April 13,” said City-Parish Parks and Recreation Director Gerald Boudreaux. “So all of that and no one got in. … Simply unbelievable.”
FEMA had intended to use portable sewer tanks at the site that would sit next to each trailer and need to be emptied regularly, but the state Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) required a more permanent system.
FEMA spokeswoman Rachel Rodi said that FEMA has chosen to move the trailers from Acadiana Park rather than pay to upgrade sewer service at the site.
She said the trailers will either go to nearby sites FEMA has leased or go back to a staging area in Baton Rouge to be distributed elsewhere in the state.
FEMA has also begun removing trailers at a site leased from the Gueydan Duck Festival Association rather than install sewer lines there to meet state sanity codes.
FEMA had paid the Duck Festival Association $17,500 a month to lease space, but filled only about half the trailers before opting to pull out.
The contract expired March 11, but about 20 FEMA trailers remain at the site, said Duck Festival Association President Ronnie Lougon.