FEMA TRAILERS


Scroll right. This panorama is stitched together from three pictures taken from the control tower at the old Hope Municipal Airport on Highway 4 between Hope and Old Washington. I don't think anybody would argue with our claim that this is the largest trailer park in the world. What credible rival would want it known that he has one larger than this? According to the ArDemGaz, 25 November 2007, page 6B, there are19,602 units stored here -- two for every citizen in Hope. Over 25% of all the trailers FEMA maintains in anticipation of national emergency are stored here. I believe that report. You start seeing trailers about a mile north of I-30 and for about four miles after that, this is what you see out your driver's side window.

The government stores its house trailers here in the flatlands of Arkansas. Right next to Texarkana, this is an area known for its plentiful and powerful tornadoes. Look at any tornado map of the US, and the darkest color is going to cover this spot. All last summer I was expecting a heavy storm to crop up and turn the scene into the world's largest irony. It never happened, but the trailers haven't gone anywhere. I suppose there's some wisdom in storing emergency equipment near a place where it's likely to be needed. On the other hand, the kind of storms we get around here are especially hard on this kind of material. If these trailers are intended for displaced tornado victims in this area, the same tornado would probably make these trailers unavailable.

The paper said this facility is good for the local economy and listed the stats. 75 people earn a monthly payroll of $416,755. Do a little arithmetic and the mean annual income is over $66,000 for these FEMA guys. Not bad money for security guards at a trailer park. FEMA pays the city of Hope $25,000 a month in rent for the property. The paper also mentioned recent stories on health problems associated with FEMA trailers, and lucky us! We've got the world's largest concentration of them right here on the outskirts of President Clinton's home town. They can't be distributed to disaster victims if they're a health hazard, yet if they're not harmful the government doesn't want to destroy a valuable asset. Until the matter is decided, here they sit leaching their wholesome goodness into the water table.

I wonder if Bill's new friends back east are trying to make some kind of comment with all this. First off, that New York architect makes Bill Clinton's presidential library to look like the world's largest house trailer (here's the picture from that story), and then the Washington homeland protection agencies put the world's largest trailer park at Bill Clinton's home town.

Coincidence? Of course. AaaabsoLUTEly! Just another one of those things. Don't be so sensitive. Besides, this is only barely about Arkansans collectively, and there's not much use in Bill Clinton taking this personally, since he has no choice but to bend over and take it. His wife's career is at stake in this election season. He can't challenge the New York guys. Not only are they crucial for his wife's presidential bid, but his daughter makes her career in Manhattan as well. He can't bring this up to anybody at FEMA. He'd look petty at best and paranoid at worst, and FEMA is part of DHS which is a huge department with a giant budget and his wife, if she gets elected, is going to have to work with them. Grin and bear it.

RTJ--12/5/2007



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