Time Winds Down For FEMA Residents

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - In just a matter of days, people living in some FEMA travel trailers will have to find another place to live.

Travel trailers in Biloxi's Cajun RV Park must be vacated by August 31st. And it won't be long before the remaining FEMA trailers and mobile homes will become empty once and for all.

Jesse Goss was one of the workers who helped install FEMA trailers across South Mississippi nearly three years ago.

"When we first came down it was hectic. No gas, no food, but we came down and started setting the travel trailers up," said Goss.

He says as fast as they were setting up the temporary homes, the faster people were showing up eager to move-in.

"They was absolutely here in their cars, vehicles and all what belongings they had and was waiting for us to get that trailer set up," Goss said.

Now Goss is back on the coast. But this time, he's clearing off some of those same sites, he help set up.

There are still five FEMA Parks across South Mississippi. However, all are expected to be closed by the start of 2009.

In just a few days, travel trailers at the Cajun RV Park in Biloxi must be vacated. October first, people who live in trailers in Camp Grove, Sioux Bayou and Santa Maria in Gautier will have to move. And all of the FEMA units in remaining parks MUST BE vacated by December 1st.

It's a date Forest Jordan calls unrealistic.

"You've got to say at least 10 to 20 years and to expect people to do it in three year's, that's just a folly," said Jordan.

Jordan moved into the FEMA Park off Popps Ferry Road last fall. He says if FEMA doesn't push back its deadlines, there will be an even bigger problem in South Mississippi.

"If they close this park down, there's going to be a lot of homeless people," Jordan said.

FEMA says it will not leave anyone without a place to live. Representatives are helping families find new homes or putting them in hotels. FEMA is also offering rental assistance to some South Mississippians. However, that program will end in March of next year.