In late February, two tornadoes hit Desha County and the 5,500-person city of Dumas, located roughly 100 miles southwest of Memphis. More than 150 homes were damaged or destroyed and the town was without power for almost a week. But the area has not received federal assistance and, at the urging of U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, the House Homeland Security Committee will hold an oversight hearing Thursday, March 15th.
Ross spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives last week. Specifically, he has called on President Bush, FEMA, and the Office of Homeland Security to move 150 of the more than 8,000 new, fully furnished mobile homes sitting vacant in the FEMA staging ground of Hope, Arkansas, roughly 150 miles away.
The response from FEMA has been appalling and they must be held accountable for their statements and their lack of actions, said Ross. Their job is to act as a first responder to help Americans who are in need after a disaster. The American people expect bureaucratic red tape from the IRS, but not from the government agency that is supposed to be there in time of disaster.