Thousands of FEMA motor homes stuck in Arkansas

| Fri Feb. 10, 2006 8:27 PM EST

There is an airstrip in Hope, Arkansas where close to 11,000 80-foot motor homes are stored. These motor homes belong to FEMA, and were purchased to serve as temporary housing for victims of hurricanes. FEMA has signed a two-year contract with the city of Hope to keep them at the airstrip for a $25,000 a month rental fee.

People in New Orleans and the surrounding areas need these motor homes desperately, but FEMA refuses to put any of them in a flood plain because they would then have to be raised and anchored. Raising and anchoring them would make them, according to FEMA officials, permanent housing, and the parish governments of Louisiana do not want that type of permanent housing.

As it stands now, the only way Hurricane Katrina victims can live in one of these motor homes--assuming some of them actually leave the Arkansas airstrip--if by moving to another area. In the meantime, FEMA spokesman James McIntyre says most of the trailers will end up in Mississippi or in Rita-ravaged sections of Louisiana. An argument can probably be made that by the time the units leave Arkansas, their intended inhabitants will have moved away, anyway.

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