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September 2005
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September 21, 2005
The Ice Capades...
Your tax dollars on tour: turns out FEMA has been paying truckers to carry ice all over the country.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds of ice meant for the Gulf Coast arrived yesterday not in storm-ravaged New Orleans or Mississippi, but in Gloucester [MA], where almost two dozen tractor-trailers spent the day idling.

Hundreds of truckers from Minnesota, Alabama, Georgia and even Massachusetts have been crisscrossing the country since the beginning of September, moving loads of ice from storage facility to storage facility and earning big bucks from the federal government to do little more than sit in their cabs and not unload their precious cargo.
[Trucker Ron] Johnson said he picked up an oversized load of ice in Sandwich last Tuesday. From there, he drove to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., where he spent eight days waiting to unload. All the while, his truck's engine continued to run in order to keep the ice from melting.

And after those eight days — he made around $900 per day, with some truckers earning in excess of $2 per mile — Johnson said he got the news his load was needed in Gloucester.

Yes, it's as crazy as it sounds. But surely FEMA has an explanation? Yes! Here's Kathy Cable, FEMA spokesbeing:
"Sometimes we have more ice and water that was ordered than is necessary," she said. "The drivers are then redirected to various mobilization centers across the country. If these centers are full, which sometimes happens, they are sent to another storage facility. Unfortunately, the truckers don't quite understand that. We know that they want to help."
Oh, those poor dumb truckers.

You know, I bet most of those truckers could come up with a better logistical plan given 45 minutes and a white board.

Worst. Administration. Ever.