FEMA Official Says Ike Response Was Slow

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) -- A top official of the Federal Emergency Management Agency says his agency has been sluggish in its response to Texans affected by Hurricane Ike.

Deputy FEMA Administrator Harvey Johnson tells the Houston Chronicle he agrees with local officials in Galveston who have been expressing concern that the agency is moving too slowly.

Officials there and in other coastal communities say they need thousands of temporary homes, particularly for refinery and chemical plant workers whose industries are crucial to the local economy.

Johnson says "there is a renewed sense of energy" within FEMA to pick up the effort. He suggests the agency might "need to box some ears." He said the agency will deploy mobile homes to the hardest-hit areas more rapidly, review rules that might be causing premature denials of assistance and provide more resources to the state.

Ike came ashore near Galveston on Sept. 13, causing at least $11 billion in damage to Texas.

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