Federal money that Mayor Ray Nagin says New Orleans must have in order to recover is available, state officials said Thursday.The city government:
But to get it, Nagin must ask for it, said Col. Jeff Smith, director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security.
“We don’t read minds down here,” Smith said. “They have to apply for it.”
Cynthia Sylvain-Lear, deputy chief administrative officer for New Orleans, said Thursday the city is aggressively seeking the money, but it has encountered problems with both FEMA and the state.The federal government:
Sylvain-Lear said more than 300 city buildings were destroyed or damaged in the hurricane; officials have estimated that will cost about $400 million to repair. “Some of our early estimates were wrong and we’re trying to revise those with FEMA,” she said. “In some cases FEMA has vastly underestimated the costs.”
At the same time, she said, paperwork the city has sent to the state has been misplaced or lost.
Simpson also said FEMA was working to remove any bottlenecks.The first one hits the second one in the head with a wrench, the second one turns around and twists the third one’s nose, and the third one goes over to the first one and pokes him in the eye.
“We’ve been very aggressive in our efforts to fix any chokepoints,” he said. “In August, the average stay in the million-dollar queue was 52 days. As of yesterday, we had that down to 8.7 days.”
The million-dollar queue is where all applications for more than $1 million are processed.
Meanwhile, New Orleans is left doing the Curly Shuffle. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.