Gustav, Ike trailers still coming

Published 11:36 pm Friday, November 28, 2008

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Some Louisiana victims of two hurricanes that hit the U.S. in September may have to wait until early next year to be in a federally provided mobile home, a spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Friday.

Bob Josephson said it currently appears that 350 households will need mobile homes after hurricanes Gustav and Ike. As of Tuesday, 54 had been placed.

Several dozen more units are in place, he said, but issues such as permitting and establishing proper infrastructure are keeping families from getting in them immediately.

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Josephson said he expected to house all eligible Louisiana families in mobile homes by January or early February.

The goal, he said, is to place as many families as possible before the expiration of the transitional housing benefits that pay for such things as hotel stays. FEMA also has been providing rental assistance.

FEMA expects to place most of the mobile homes in three parishes: Terrebonne Parish, where Gustav made landfall on Labor Day, and Cameron and Calcasieu parishes, affected by Ike less than two weeks later.

Victims of Gustav have until Dec. 17 to apply to FEMA for individual aid; the deadline for Ike victims in the state is Dec. 26.

The mobile homes for this year’s storm victims are larger than the travel trailers sent to the Gulf Coast after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Some of those remain in yards three years later.