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FEMA Cleanup Begins After Weaker-Than-Expected Irene

August 30, 2011 by  

FEMA Cleanup Begins After Weaker-Than-Expected Irene

As Tropical Storm Irene makes its way across northeastern Canada, many headlines throughout the U.S. say New York City escaped what might have been a major disaster.

Though reports and rolling coverage of what many people thought would be a near-apocalyptic event for the Eastern Seaboard dominated most of the mainstream media over the weekend, the storm hit with far less intensity than originally predicted. Some of the worst-hit areas like Vermont and North Carolina have experienced heavy flooding and large-scale power outages. Tornado spinoffs from the storm also caused some structural damage along the East Coast.

In an interview with the BBC, Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont said on Monday: “We prepared for the worst and we got the worst in central and southern Vermont. We have extraordinary infrastructure damage.”

The Christian Science Monitor reports that though the disaster was not as widespread as originally predicted, the cost of cleanup will be about $7 billion. President Barrack Obama, in a Sunday speech, praised government for its efforts leading up to the storm and warned that cleanup will be a long and costly process.

“The impacts of this storm will be felt for some time. And the recovery effort will last for weeks or longer,” he said.

Presidential hopeful Ron Paul disagreed that this cleanup process should be a Federal responsibility — especially, he said, at a time when the government has no extra money. In a speech to constituents in Galveston, Texas — an area frequently pummeled by hurricanes — the Congressman discredited the work of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), calling it a hindrance to individual disaster relief efforts.

“FEMA is not a good friend of most people in Texas because they only come in and tell you what you can and can’t do… they hinder the local people,” he said. “They contribute to deficit financing and, quite frankly, they don’t have a penny in the bank.”

Obama declared a state of emergency in Vermont on Monday, giving FEMA full authority to enter and begin work in the State. Over the weekend, FEMA was also dispatched to Virginia, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Delaware, Puerto Rico, Massachusetts, Maryland and Washington, D.C. as a result of presidentially declared disaster.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Truthseeker

    It reminds me of when we had a lot of fires here in California. The local Firemen forced evacuations in all of the track homes in many areas. They said it was too dangerous and would not let anybody stay in their homes or try to combat the fires that were coming in from the surrounding brush. Well, a few people remained secretly in their homes and when the fires got near they put the fires out without the help of the firemen. The firemen just let all of the homes burn with the exception of just a few. Hundreds of homes were lost, but not the ones where the homeowners stayed behind and protected them.

  • Iris

    God helps those who help themselves. Funny how that works.

    • Karolyn

      What about those who can’t help themselves? Those without family? Old? Infirm? Poor? No insurance? Churches can only do so much. Some people have lost everything. Ron Paul says let the states help. Well, the states are broke. I guess we should just go backwards. Leave the roads and bridges destroyed. Abandon the towns destroyed. Have people live in tents and structures made from scavenged materials like in Haiti. There is a limit to “God helps those who help themselves.”

      • libertytrain

        the Federal government is broke, the States are broke. Where do you think this money is supposed to be coming from? Print more? Ask China? You probably won’t be getting your allowance much longer either. Ma and Pa are broke.

      • Greg T

        FYI- FEMA is pulling their funding in states that did not vote for Obama to fund this northeaster storm damage.

        Many communities that were hit with tornadoes around where I live are loosing funding because FEMA must support those states that support the President.

        Reminds me of the healthcare bill where only supporters of Obama don’t have to have Obama’s healthcare. Yeah, isn’t it great that we get to pick and choose, via political affiliation, who gets what. So much for rule of law or supporting Americans as a whole. Parasitism has a whole new meaning under Obama.

        • Karolyn

          And may I ask where is the link to material proving this information is true?

      • 45caliber

        Karolyn:

        About those who can’t help themselves? No problem! We take care of our own.

        In the last storm that hit here, anyone who couldn’t get out on their own (and we have a lot of elderly) were invited to call the school. School buses were used at no cost to anyone to pick people up and take them elsewhere. Immediately after the storm, we checked on those who had stayed. Any problems they had we took care of. If they needed fresh water or food, we provided it. If they needed medical care, we got it for them – or took them to it. Their homes were repaired if needed. FEMA didn’t do a thing for anyone – except those who wanted the extra FEMA money to suppliment their welfare checks.

      • Marty S.

        Karolyn if the size and cost of the federal bureaucracy was not so grotesque and the little people in their respective states were to keep most of their money, invest it into private business and job growth instead of it being swallowed up by regulations and stifling taxation by the central government of the U.S., disasters like this could easily be handled by the states in which they occur. This country was built on rugged individualism not government handouts etc. God Bless America.

  • Truthseeker

    I also don’t believe that anybody should ever be forced from their house or property. Who has the right to force someone to leave their home? Just because someone thinks there is a threat dosen’t give them the right to force someone else to have to leave their home. Giveing someone a warning that there may be danger ahead is one thing, but forcing them to leave against their will is infringeing on their liberty! No one should ever be FORCED to leave against their will no matter what! Don’t infringe upon my Life, my Liberty or my Property!

    • 45caliber

      What we do here in Texas is warn.

      You are warned that there is a problem coming and that you may be in danger. But the biggest warning is: If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, don’t bother calling for help from the police or fire department or anyone else. They have their own problems and safety to worry about. So you are standing in what is left of your living room in four feet of water. It was your choice.

      Of course one of the reasons they only warn rather than force you to leave is that most of us have our own guns and might use them if you insist on us leaving.

    • Mac

      Mandatory seat belt usage; Mandatory motorcycle helmets; the next step is Government telling you what you can and can’t do in your own home – or when you have to abandon your own home.

      • libertytrain

        without going into more detail – they already do, think light bulbs, toilets, and so much more….

      • 45caliber

        Mac:

        I was told once that the seat belt law was enacted solely to give the government a procedence to save you from yourself. All other laws were meant to save you from someone else’s aggression.

        The helmet law – here in Texas – is a no-go. Every time they try to pass it – and there are people who want it passed – a large group goes to Austin and they forget it. Or they file a suit in court and the court kicks it out.

        But if the government has the right to protect you from yourself – even by so little as the seat belt law – they have the right to tell you where to work, where to live, and whom to marry. After all you are unsafe in all those places.

  • Truthseeker

    Also, why should I trust federal authorities? Since when do they have mine and my families best interest in mind? They are the ones who abuse me. They are the ones who over regulate me. They are the ones who over tax me. They are the ones who chain me to a tax code of over 750 pages that no 2 people can interpret the same. They are the ones who enforce unjust laws upon me. They are the ones who pay themselves exorbitant salaries while stealing us blind. They are the ones who impose injustice upon us in the courts of law. Abolish FEMA and destroy their concentration camps now.

    • Christin

      I’m with you on that, Truthseeker.

      The media is ALL HYPE and SENSATIONALISM talking non-stop on the telie about Hurricane Irene… and it wasn’t half the punch they make it out to be… and this is not the first one they freaked out about on tv either. Please, just the facts ma’am.

      Since the Weather reports and MSM don’t know for sure if the hurricane will be disastrous or not there should be NO FORCED evacuations, only warnings. Home owners can make up their own mind as to what they should do… this is called FREEDOM.

  • Dan Olivier

    I remember after Katrina & Rita going to the local FEMA office. All I wanted was a blue tarp to cover part of my roof that was damaged and leaking. I had family to help me install it. Well, I could not get a tarp but they put me on a list. About a week later (after more water damage inside, and no there were no tarps available to buy anywhere) a FEMA guy came by and took measurements. Then another week later a crew came and covered the entire roof with blue tarps. (The actual damaged area was about 10′x20′) So after 2 weeks my entire roof was covered at who knows what cost. Wow, and people think government is efficient?
    Another thing, while I was talking to the Fema guy this older man was asking for help from damages from Rita. Actually all he wanted was some food and water for him and his neighbors. Now he had to drive 60 miles to come to the FEMA office. The FEMA guy told him that they were only servicing people affected from Katrina and they couldn’t help him. I asked the guy helping me why they couldn’t help him. He said they didn’t have approval to help Rita victims yet. It was disheartening to see the old guy crying and pleading for help. As we were leaving I saw him and offered to buy him food and water but he politely declined saying that they would find a way to help themselves. And you know what? They did. I was in that area a week later and saw that the community was out helping each other.
    That is why having FEMA in charge is only slowing things down. We live in hurricane country and recovery was always a local thing. Until recently when FEMA is here to help!
    Yes in times of major disasters the local system may not work. But FEMA should ONLY be there to ASSIST the local government. NOT to take over.

    • Emoke

      Great answer to who should be helping. It is not churches, state or federal government. It is the community. I hate it when people wail about who will help when they are able bodied and refuse to even think about what they could be doing for others. Churches are communities that help often but be grateful for it do not expect it. Another reason to know your neighbors and not be a crotchety old fool.

    • 45caliber

      When Ike came through, there were a lot of trees down. By the time FEMA ever showed up, most of the trees were cut up and hauled away. FEMA was convinced that 1) there wasn’t much damage – at least not enough for them to worry about and 2) that they had done a great job and took care of all the problems.

      What actually happened was that everyone with a chain saw (and I bought one prior to the storm for that very purpose) went out and cut up every downed tree they saw. It didn’t matter where it was or who owned the property. Some of the property owners simply returned home to find their problems were already taken care of by people they never knew did it. At the same time, if the people had a hole in the roof, the people working would cover them if they could find any materials at all.

      But FEMA insisted they took care of all the problems.

      • libertytrain

        Yes, 45 even after Andrew’s rampage, everyone was out helping each other. I remember it well. And the other hurricanes I’ve experienced as well —and of course, now here in the mountains, we still feel the wrath now and then of the hurricanes – roads are gone, houses are gone. You don’t have to live on the coast to experience flooding and landslides that change the landscape because of a hurricane. Katrina we didn’t suffer too much other than no gas stations open for miles and miles, and when or if you were lucky enough to find gas it was over $5 a gallon. I think it took nearly two months before we were able to get gas up here on a regular basis. No one believed that we didn’t have gas up here in the mountains….we didn’t all because of Katrina. It wasn’t fun, but we all made do the best we could.

  • Fly By Night

    What is Obama good for… ?

    • Emoke

      Watching his ineptitude distracts us from the bigger issues at hand. The president can do only so much hand in hand with a corrupt congress. The individuals in congress don’t get enough of the blame since they are a collective.

    • 45caliber

      This President reminds me of the “Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe” series.

      In it, the ideal President would create such a fuss that the people watched what he was doing in fascination rather than actually notice what the government was doing in any situation.

      I think we have his “ideal President”.

  • 45caliber

    I live on the Texas Gulf Coast. We have had a lot of storms, including hurricanes, here at one time or another.

    And the WORST of the help that comes in is FEMA. They want total control of what can and can’t be done. They want control of what is brought in to aid the survivors. If someone shows up with a truck load of water (which is almost always badly needed) unless they obey FEMA’s orders, they aren’t allowed to deliver it. Since we do experience a lot of storms many inland groups including chruches plan to aid – but they can seldom get permission.

    I live about 60 miles (1 hour drive the way we figure distance down here) from Houston. During the last major storm the government would not allow returning families who had fled the storm to come directly home. They were supposed to drive directly to Houston and THEN come south – even if they were to the south of where we live. Our local doctor was denied permission to drive here to check on patients unless he went through Houston first – two hours out of his way.

    Those who tried to aid in Katrina from this area (electrical workers) were sent from Houston to ATLANTA to attend a FEMA indoctrination about how great FEMA was and how they do things before they could return to NO to help. That took them nearly a week (6 days) before they could actually help. And it cost them many times more money to do it than expected.

    FEMA helping? Don’t make me laugh!

    • 45caliber

      Considering that Ron Paul lives even closer to the coast than I do, you can see why he said those things about FEMA.

    • Mac

      Next thing, FEMA will have its own SWAT team to enforce its “rules.”

      • 45caliber

        They probably already do. All the other agencies do.

  • Song

    I have a very good friend that worked for FEMA as an adjuster, let’s just say this: FEMA is a completely inefficient, waste of tax payer money and if you don’t have first hand experience then you simply cannot know the level of inefficiency, incompetency, waste and fraud involved with FEMA.

  • Karen

    What about all of the people ACTUALLY affected by the floods in the Midwest? Thousands of people that lost everything are still waiting for help. I guess if you live on the East (the “other” Left Coast)Coast, you can expect help even before you need it. This administration is so blatant in it’s favoritism…shameful.

  • John Kramer

    It is time to get rid of FEMA.

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