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October 11, 2005

Bush City

"The idea that — in a community where we could place people in the private housing market to reintegrate them into society — we would put them in [trailer] ghettos with no jobs, no community, no future, strikes me as extraordinarily bad public policy, and violates every conservative principle that I’m aware of.

"If they [the federal officials]  do it, they will look back on it six months from now as the greatest disaster of this administration."

– Newt Gingrich (L.A. Times  9/23/05)

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Sometimes a problem in tackling these issues is that they are a little hard to visualize. 

Certainly, that’s not the case for thousands of Floridians still living in "FEMA cities."  Shortly, it will also be an all-too-vivid reality for thousands more throughout isolated Louisiana and Mississippi.

The FEMA city set up in Punta Gorda, Florida (actually called Fema City ), was originally slated to close by this coming February  — 18 months after the storm. The revised estimate, however, has residents slated to be there for at least five more years.

(Note: Not all photos relate to the same location.  All, however, depict FEMA or Katrina-related trailer city activity.)

(related links: leftcoaster; sayanythingblog; wapo 1; wapo 2)

(image 1 & 2: Mark Saltz/A.P. Sept. 21, 2005. 60 acre tract of land. Groom Road/Baker, Louisiana.  Via YahooNews.  Allen Fredrickson/Reuters.  September 15, 2005.  Sugarville (Shell Sugarland facility in St. James, Louisiana).  Via YahooNews.  image 4: Mark Saltz/A.P. Sept. 21, 2005. 60 acre tract of land. Groom Road/Baker, Louisiana.  image 5: independent photo. reader/commentator 2Hotel9. sayanythingblog.com; image 6: Allen Fredrickson/Reuters.  September 15, 2005.  Sugarville (Shell Sugarland facility in St. James, Louisiana).  Via YahooNews. image 7: Susan Walsh/A.P.  Bush, Vice Admiral Thad Allen, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. Folgers Coffee plant in New Orleans, Louisiana .September 20, 2005.  image 8: Lori Waselchuk for The New York Times. October 7, 2005. At FEMA’s First Big Trailer Park, ‘Gold’ for One Evacuee. 10 Miles Outside Baton Rouge. nyt.com. image 9: Marc S. Kaufman for The Washington Post.  FEMA’s City of Anxiety in Florida. September 17, 2005. page A01.  Caption: About 1,500 people who lost their homes or were already homeless still live in a makeshift mobile home/trailer park run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Charlotte County, Fla., since Hurricane Charley struck last year.)

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