Archive for the ‘FEMA’ Category

Hurricane Ike – Katrina all over again?

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Did FEMA drop the ball again?

Think Progress has reported the fact that the Feds decided to restrict airspace and press access to the hardest hit areas of Texas:

[KTRK TV] reporter Wayne Dolcefino revealed that media have been blocked from covering Hurricane Ike’s devastation. In a press conference, Dolcefino pressed Gov. Rick Perry on why media aren’t even allowed to fly over parts of Galveston Island, noting that media access was far better in Mississippi and Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Perry tried to brush off Dolcefino’s concerns, but eventually passed blame to federal officials.

One has to wonder why. Capitol Annex points out that:

Dolcefino went on to compare the media’s lack of access to the situation in Myanmar, where the media was denied access to many areas hit hard by disaster there.

In addition, some sources tell Capitol Annex that local government leaders and some legislators have already begun to criticize both the state response and FEMA’s response to Ike, although none of that has been covered by the media yet.

For what it’s worth, MSNBC has reported that:

For days, hot, hungry and thirsty victims of Ike’s strike have waited hours for handouts and scrounged for fuel. Phone lines were overburdened as evacuees tried, unsuccessfully, to register for help. Others denounced the suggestion to go to a Web site, impossible when they still had no power.

“They’re still screwed up. They haven’t remedied their problem,” said Galveston nurse Reginald Cleveland, one of thousands of evacuees stuck at a shelter in San Antonio. He signed up with FEMA when he checked into the shelter, but then was told to call a number at which no one answered. “I say, put the people out. They obviously don’t know what they’re doing.”