OCTOBER 26, 2005
Just when you thought that perhaps the Federal Emergency Management Agency was getting its act together, a Florida newspaper has revealed the troubling findings of FEMA’s latest mishaps in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.
It turns out that the agency has paid millions of dollars to families that don’t exist or didn’t suffer any damages. In 36 parishes and counties in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, FEMA awarded $102 million to at least 51,000 more applicants than local officials said were displaced by the storm.
Here is a bit of a breakdown; in three Louisiana parishes, FEMA issued more checks than there are households, at a cost to taxpayers of at least $70 million. In Mobile County, Alabama, FEMA awarded $34.1 million to 17,050 residents although local police estimated that fewer than 300 residents were displaced. In Louisiana’s Iberville Parish, 70 miles from Katrina’s landfall in New Orleans, 819 residents received $1.6 million although no serious damage was reported in the area.
Even in Orleans Parish, ground zero for Katrina, FEMA paid out $458 million to 224,008 applicants. That is 41,888 more than the number of households in the parish as of 2004. The difference money wise is $83.8 million.
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