Gautier Okays Controversial FEMA Site

FEMA trailers. There's no dispute the Coast has a desperate need for them, but there is a lot of controversy over where they should go. At a council meeting Tuesday night in Gautier, dozens of residents turned out to oppose a proposed FEMA site on Martin Bluff Road.

The people who live in Cambridge Square and other subdivisions along Martin Bluff Road say they have enough traffic headaches without adding more residents in FEMA trailers.

"When you come out of where that is and you go North on Martin Bluff Road and try to turn on the access road, it's almost impossible to turn there," complained one man. "There are half a dozen cars backed up."

Another woman claimed she had trouble getting her children to school because the traffic was so bad. Armed with a petition, Gautier residents crowded into the council room. They hoped to convince city leaders that allowing a FEMA site of 122 trailers would also overcrowd a local school and overwhelm firefighters and police officers.

A resident complained that more crime was likely.

"From what I understand quite a few of them will be coming off the ship. And from what I understand about the ship, it's pretty bad in itself."

In the end, the council voted that helping people find housing was more important than any inconveniences.

Council member Hurley Ray Guillotte said, "When somebody talks about the ship, it's like they're talking about foreign people. It's not foreign people. It's some of our relatives and our friends."