Hundreds of FEMA trucks stuck in red tape in Memphis

| Wednesday, September 14, 2005

As of Tuesday, Sept. 13, as many as 300 trucks on hurricane relief operations for FEMA were stranded at a Memphis, TN, staging area.

Some of them, according to local news reports, had been sitting there for at least five days.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported that many of the trucks - which are carrying supplies such as water and ice for Hurricane Katrina victims - had been shifted around the country for days by the Federal Emergency Management Agency

One driver said he left Chicago on Sept. 4 and had since been to Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, all without unloading his cargo. Another driver said he was being paid $700 per day to sit and wait.

A spokesman for the Memphis district of the Army Corps of Engineers told the Commercial Appeal that the drivers were sitting there because FEMA ended up with more supplies than it was able to move out.

The spokesman added, however, that the supply glitch has not left those in need short of supplies.

"(FEMA) can only handle a certain quantity per day," he said.

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