UPDATE: East Texas Officials Say Federal Storm Aid Still Not Reaching Them

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By: E&P Staff

While the national media continues to contrast the strong federal response to Hurricane Rita to the fumbling post-Katrina, this is not the message put out by local East Texas officials in a Beaumont Enterprise online story late today. They said much the same yesterday (as E&P previously reported), apparently to little notice.

Frustrated Jefferson County leaders said they are not getting much-needed help from the feds, and “complained that resources were not making it into their communities to get much-needed services such as water and sewer operating again,” the newspaper revealed.

Jefferson County Judge Carl Griffith called the bureaucracy “ridiculous” and said the federal government has failed the people of East Texas.

“Unless George Bush is a different man than I knew as governor of Texas, he’s going to make some changes. And I’m a Democrat,” Griffith said, to emphasize his faith in the president’s ability to ease the suffering in Southeast Texas.

“We’ve had out-of-area leaders come in before and tell us a bunch of bull—-,” Nederland Mayor Bill Nugent said. “But hopefully this is going to be for real. We’ll have faith in her and trust her until she proves (she’s) speaking to us like the rest of them have. And if I sound upset, I am. It’s time to quit being nice.”

He said the city’s water tower was in good shape–but a generator was needed to get it working. Another generator was needed for the sewer system.

Getting water service back would mean both Nederland and Port Neches could have fire protection. Already one home was lost the day of the storm.

“I’m so damn frustrated,” Nugent said, “because we’ve been screaming and hollering for the generators. They keep saying we’re going to get them, but they’re sitting on trucks at Ford Park, and we can’t get the damn things to Nederland. Give me one more day I’m going to get real nasty.”

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