Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Galveston County Jail, no generators from FEMA causes major problems

Galveston officials: Feds blocking generators at jail
By TERRI LANGFORD Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Sept. 16, 2008, 11:59AM

GALVESTON — Frustration was brewing at the Galveston County jail this morning, but not from the inmates.

Dudley Anderson — the architect of the Galveston County Justice Center, which includes the jail, courts and law enforcement offices — said the Federal Emergency Managment Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers are letting rule books get in the way of supplying generators and, thus, air flow to the estimated 1,000 inmates in the jail.

"We've been trying to get some power hooked up inside the justice center," Anderson said. "There's a small one in there now, but they need power."

While President Bush was inside the facility talking with officials this morning, Anderson and other contractors were outside complaining that the government is getting in the way.

Anderson said the only generator in the jail this morning was supplying a small operator area. He had another generator ready to help a bit with air flow, but the large generators expected from the federal government are what he's frustrated about.

"FEMA won't turn loose of the generators until they inspect the area themselves. They keep saying that will be tomorrow. I've heard that for days," he said. "We know the exact size we need. We told them. Apparently, that's difficult for them to accept."

Anderson said that, without air circulating in the closed facility in this climate, mold and mildew can start growing everywhere. The lack of water and properly working toilet facilities exacerbates the problem, he said.
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