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$85M in Katrina Supplies Never Got to Victims

FEMA gave them to Miss. and other states for general use
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2008 5:46 PM CDT
$85M in Katrina Supplies Never Got to Victims
Gina Bouffanie listens to a question in her home where she and her 15-month old Lexi moved to after living in a FEMA trailer after Hurricane Katrina Wednesday, March 26, 2008, in Bay St. Louis Miss.    (AP Photo)

Household and cleaning supplies worth $85 million never reached Hurricane Katrina victims because FEMA kept them in storage for 2 years, CNN reports. Louisiana didn't ask for them, the federal agency says, so coffee makers, dinnerware sets, clothes, and other items went to Mississippi and 15 other states—which doled them out to prisons and other state workers.

Aid groups are fuming. "You would have to be living under a rock not to know there is still a need" among Katrina victims, one advocate said. But FEMA said aid groups in Mississippi failed to register with the agency. CNN's investigation has sparked an internal FEMA probe into the supplies, which were costing $1 million a year to store. (Read more FEMA stories.)

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