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Federal authorities outlined plans to temporarily house Hurricane Katrina survivors in trailers as President George W. Bush promised to take “a sober look” at how emergency agencies reacted after the storm.
According to a report on Bloomberg.com, while the president made his third tour of the U.S. Gulf Coast region today (Sept. 12), government officials acknowledged that a massive effort was under way to round up and deploy temporary housing, including travel trailers from the RV industry, to storm-stricken areas.
Coast Guard Vice Admiral Thad Allen, who replaced embattled Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Michael Brown Sept. 9 as the federal official in charge of relief and recovery operations in the region, said the trailers are being brought in to serve as stopgap housing.
The government has ordered about 100,000 two-bedroom mobile homes and recreational vehicles from several manufacturers around the country to help fill housing needs for about 300,000 people, said James McIntyre, a FEMA spokesman in Baton Rouge, La.
The government has taken delivery of 12,000 units so far, he said, at a rate of about 500 a day, up from 450 yesterday. Mobile homes and RVs are being shipped by railroad or truck to staging areas in Selma, Ala., Purvis, Miss., Baton Rouge and Texarkana, Texas.
Responding to criticism that the federal government moved too slowly in the immediate aftermath of Katrina, the president vowed that Congress and the administration will “take a sober look at the decision-making that went on.”
The president made his remarks after touring the city’s French Quarter and other neighborhoods in a caravan of military vehicles along with Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco.