R. Reese Fuller

More problems with Gustav response

by R. Reese Fuller

The Advocate reports that there were more problems than just long lines for food stamps after Hurricane Gustav. The daily Baton Rouge paper has combed through thousands of pages of e-mails from the Louisiana Department of Social Services to document other problems that haven't been made public. DSS Secretary Ann Williamson, a hire during the Blanco administration, resigned after Gov. Bobby Jindal publicly criticized her agency's response to the storm.

... The e-mails appear to show failures by other state agencies — specifically, the state Department of Transportation and Development and the state Department of Health and Hospitals. Both those agencies are run by cabinet secretaries Jindal personally recruited from other states.

The e-mails also give a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the fallout that resulted at DSS when the agency waited to submit a purchase order for showers at four shelters.

Other problems discovered by The Advocate include returning evacuees to towns where they didn't live, buses directed to shelters that were full, and "complaints that ill, elderly people arrived at shelters smelling of urine because buses had broken toilets and drivers refused to stop for restroom breaks."

Read "Gustav-related e-mails reveal disorganization."