This latest message -- addressed to Jack Cafferty -- is one of the most startling I've seen yet:
In today's segment of The Situation Room, you gave a personal response to the federal government's handling (mis-handling) of the unprecedented tragedy in Louisiana. Of specific note is the absence of coordi .nation of theI want to emphasize that this is not taken from any other news source -- this story is breaking here in this diary (cross-posted at The Situation Room).
government's response by means of FEMA.
For your information:
FEMA called in a company that owns and operates a fleet of air boats, to aide with the search and recovery of citizens trying to survive the disaster and who are still in their homes, etc. A friend of mine (from Arkansas) is one of the owner/operators of an air boat in that fleet. He responded to FEMA's request and went down to assist, all at his own expense. When there,
he reported to a FEMA manager or supervisor who told him, and I quote: "We need your assistance and can use your help every day, there's a lot of folks who have not been found. But, you will have to pay for your own gasoline for your air boat."
The cost of gasoline for that air boat, for each day, amounts to approximately $550.00 per day, minimum. With the current gasoline crisis, it could cost considerably more, up to $600 - $700 per day.
This young man volunteered his time AND his boat to help - and was then told by FEMA that he would have to pay, additionally, out of his own pocket, all of the costs for his gasoline - to find the people who were in flooded homes across the entire flooded area in the City of New Orleans, where FEMA is assigned.
This young man doesn't have the money to donate his costs for gasoline for FEMA's project, so, guess where he is right now: yup, on the way back to Arkansas.
Has FEMA bungled this operation? Yes-sir-ee.
Can FEMA locate gasoline and have it trucked in, for these purposes? Yes-sir-ee.
The consequences for this short-sighted "decision" by a FEMA supervisor? More people dying, due to a major delay in locating them and rescuing them.
When will this "decision" be reviewed and questioned? Not till after many more victims have died.
UPDATE: Commenters are asking if they can help pay the gas costs of the boat owner mentioned above.
boatmail [at] subintsoc.net
I will see that it gets forwarded.