Shorter Houston Chronicle front-page story: FEMA Screws Up Again.
Frustration and anger mounted in Southeast Texas on Monday over the response to Hurricane Rita by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
With homes smashed, trees and power lines downed and a looming shortage of food and water, one official even threatened to take federal relief supplies by force, if necessary.
"If you have enough policemen to take it from them, take it," Jefferson County Judge Carl Griffith said Monday during a meeting of city and county officials.
Southeast Texas officials charged that the federal agency's response to Rita was inadequate.
"We are very short on food and water, and the FEMA trucks that were supposed to be here just aren't here," Griffith said.
Griffith was angry over an incident in which a FEMA truck was supposed to deliver fuel to a police facility but took the gasoline to a fire station. When the crew learned its error, it left, the county judge said, without providing the fuel to anyone.
If police had been available, Griffith said, they should have just taken the fuel.
Griffith also was outraged over FEMA portable generators that, he said, were sitting in a park and not being distributed.
"We can't help it if politicians come here and just want to be seen by the media," Griffith said.
"We hit the ground running with our own commodities and our own facilities, but we have no support."
Beaumont officials also cited a shortage of water pumps and generators. They complained that federal relief teams had failed to show up and that fuel deliveries had not been made as promised.