This is FEMA at it's best again! Why are they apologizing for the Mayor. What about the thousands of people waiting for food and water. I think he did the right thing! They needed a kick in the ass!
Trucks sat idle at Reliant stadium while they argued over paperwork! There have been many instances of people waiting only to be told there were no supplies. Because some one forgot to sign off on some paperwork.
Some salty language from a frustrated Mayor Bill White to emergency workers last week at Reliant Park has kicked up dust from Austin to Georgia.
After receiving a complaint Friday from Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, Gov. Rick Perry yesterday asked his staff to investigate comments White made to two Georgia Forestry Commission employees who came to Houston to help manage the distribution of federal and state supplies to area residents hit hard by Hurricane Ike. Perdue said in a letter to Perry that White had "verbally and profanely abused" the women.
A witness said White told the women, "You need to be getting these (expletive) trucks out of here."
The mayor then began arguing with a Harris County sheriff's deputy over whether trucks full of Federal Emergency Management Agency supplies had been delivered to a distribution site, the witness said. White told the deputy he had just been to the site and about 3,000 people were waiting for supplies.
White went on to say that if nothing was delivered soon, they were ''about to be in a (expletive) riot," the witness said.
In a written response to the two Republican governors, White said that he grew frustrated last Tuesday when he visited the distribution sites and found they had nothing to hand out to the thousands of people waiting in line.
"I did use words that I have never used in the Sunday school class I teach, but which were closer to the vocabulary General Patton used when he was trying to keep his army moving," White wrote. "I apologize to anyone who believed my anger was directed at them."
White was unavailable for comment Monday because he was on his way to Washington to ask Congress for federal aid, a spokesman said. Perry and Perdue also were unavailable for comment.
Last week, White and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett took control over how the Texas Forest Service and FEMA was delivering food, water and ice to dozens of points of distribution around the area.
White visited a parking lot at Texas Southern University last Tuesday morning and saw people waiting for supplies that had yet to be delivered. He grew angry upon finding that most of the sites had received few or no supplies by 11 a.m., he said.
In a letter sent Friday to Perry, but not White, the Georgia governor described a confrontation last Tuesday that has become a hot topic of conversation in local law enforcement and Republican political circles.
''Apparently, Mayor White had to be escorted from the scene by the Incident Commander," Perdue wrote.
White wrote in his response that he was not "escorted from the site" but "drove with one convoy of trucks to a site where about 100 volunteers and many thousands of people had been waiting in line."
In a letter to Perdue on Sunday, Perry said he was "dismayed" by the incident and personally called the two women to extend "my sincerest apologies on behalf of the state.
"I certainly hope that they do not see their experience as indicative of how we treat our guests," Perry wrote.
According to two witnesses, White lobbed a series of profanities at four people after arriving at a tent where trucks were being sent to distribution sites.
Those who saw the incident asked not to be identified because they had not been authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
"We're disappointed in Mayor White's initial assessment of the work we're trying to accomplish here," said Jenny Lynn Bruner, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Forestry Commission. "He's under a lot of stress with all that's been going on."