Fema To Cover 100% Of Hurricane Recovery Through June 2006
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will continue to cover 100 % of the costs of hurricane emergency response and debris removal through June 30, 2006, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco has announced.
“Getting 100 percent federal cost share was #1 on my agenda when I met with [Department of Homeland Security] Secretary Michael Chertoff and Chairman Don Powell in Washington last week,” the governor said.
“I told them that we have already removed 10 times more debris than was removed at the World Trade Center site after 9/11, yet we are not even half way done. And those estimates don’t even include housing demolition which has yet to begin in earnest. So we have a long way to go,” she said.
“That is why today’s news that emergency response and debris removal will continue to be covered at 100 percent through June 30 is such a welcome Christmas present to Louisiana,” said the governor. It means that my message got through, and that these federal officials understand the magnitude of the task at hand and the partnership required for success.”
In other hurricane recovery news, FEMA is working with Louisiana parishes to help identify and re-inter caskets disinterred by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Five Louisiana parishes have requested assistance from FEMA.
FEMA’s Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) has set up a Victim Identification Center in Carville, Louisiana. There, DMORT specialists are working to identify disinterred remains that local parish coroners have been unable to identify.
DMORT estimates approximately 1,300 remains were disinterred as a result of both hurricanes, approximately 800 from Hurricane Rita and 500 from Katrina.
To date, the Victim Identification Center has received more than 280 sets of disinterred remains and re-casketed more than 80. Once an identification is made, the remains are re-casketed in a casket similar to that used by the armed forces and then returned to the parishes.
An estimated 340 caskets and vaults have been disinterred in Cameron, the most severely impacted parish by Hurricane Rita. DMORT teams assisted in the recovery of nearly 275 of these, and expects to receive approximately 200 at the Carville site for identification.
Provided by the Environmental News Service.