Port Arthur Mayor clarified temporary housing situation for city

Mayor Derrick Freeman announced FEMA barges will arrive in two days to provide temporary housing for Port Arthur residents.

PORT ARTHUR - Mayor Derrick Freeman posted a clarification to the temporary housing situation regarding to the FEMA barges coming to Port Arthur.

There will be two FEMA barges which will hold 300 people each in the port of Port Arthur.

Mayor Freeman posted this picture on his Facebook clarifying about the barges that will be use to house displaced residents. 

Gwendolyn Donahue, a displaced resident who is currently staying at the Red Cross shelter at Thomas Jefferson Middle School is not happy with this type of temporary housing.

"To live from shelter to shelter is hard enough, but at this moment now you are talking about putting me on a barge a ship, what you put out a cargo of food to ship around and now you’re talking about this is how I have to live," said Donahue.

She was rescued from her home during Harvey then transported from shelter to shelter. She said the last thing she wants to do is live on a Barge on the water.

"I will say again, I’m not a fish, I'm not a crab, and I'm not a shrimp because I don't know nothing about being on a boat," said Donahue.

County Judge Jeff Branick said FEMA and the “Texas Division of Emergency Management" are looking at other options for temporary housing such as mobile homes, trailers and shelters.

Officials are also looking into contractors with the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power program who will make repairs to damaged homes and could allow people to move back.

Patricia Mooney, another evacuated resident said she would not mind living on a barge.

"It’s a nice place to regroup, get yourself together you know, give it a try you don’t know until you try,” said Mooney.

Mayor Freeman said three meals a day will be offered at the barges along with laundry and satellite TV.

Officials are looking at different security options and are discussing the possibility of separating men and women on the barges.

Judge Branick said he believes a screening process will be in place to prevent sex offenders and criminals from staying on the barge.

 

 

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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