The Washington Post today takes a closer look at the thousands of mobile homes sitting unused in Hope and FEMA's refusal to dispatch them to Desha County, where victims of last month's tornadoes could use them.
Thousands more of the homes -- critics say more than 8,000 -- have never been used and cannot be sold immediately, even though scores of people in the South have been made homeless by recent storms.
"While FEMA has 8,420 brand new, fully furnished, never-used mobile homes in a cow pasture in Hope, Arkansas, they refuse to provide the people from Desha, Back Gate and Dumas counties with help. This is crazy," said Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.). "If this is the new and improved FEMA, I don't want any part of it." ...
But FEMA has refused Ross's request to release 150 mobile homes to shelter people in his state who were displaced on Feb. 24 by two tornadoes, because President Bush has not declared the counties a federal disaster area, precluding FEMA's involvement.