Congressman Byron Donalds critical of FEMA taking trailers away in August

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More than seven months after Ian, people are still dealing with the mess of working to get FEMA trailers.

FEMA will be taking smaller travel trailers from individuals who received emergency housing in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

And it’s got Southwest Florida lawmakers fuming.

In an exclusive interview with WINK News on Tuesday, Congressman Byron Donalds laid into the federal government’s decision.

Gloria Stoddard and her husband, of Flamingo Bay, told WINK News they just got a FEMA trailer roughly a month or two ago.

But they have to give it back by Aug. 1.

“FEMA’s not being nice to us,” said 8-year-old Caden.

“I think the FEMA situation is a joke actually,” Stoddard said. “What are we supposed to do?”

FEMA is taking certain temporary housing away due to the potential risk they pose to people and property this upcoming hurricane season.

Because Stoddard’s trailer is stationary, it can stay.

Because hers has wheels and could get pushed around more easily in a storm, it’s got to go.

Donalds said he is mad at FEMA.

“It’s 2023. There’s this thing called radar. Everybody, WINK News, everybody does the Doppler radar systems. Now we can see stuff coming. We have the National Hurricane Center, we have all this technology, but then you’re gonna tell people trying to rebuild. They can’t keep a trailer on the property. Makes no sense,” Donalds said.

Even Kathy Davis, who has a stationary trailer that will not be removed, thinks this decision by FEMA is ridiculous.

“We all went through the same hurricane and we all deserve the same treatment, every one of us,” Davis said.

Caden said FEMA is not taking care of people.

“I think we all need to get together and band together and come up with a solution here. Because taking them away is just going to hurt us more,” Stoddard said. “It’s not the answer.”

WINK News reached out to FEMA, and the agency said emergency housing is temporary. Before moving in, every household signs a revocable license agreement for the housing unit FEMA is providing, and each family that received a trailer agreed to the terms and conditions.

FEMA Spokesman John Mills previously said FEMA will work with people on alternate temporary housing options.

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