National News (9-16-2021)

National News

Corps of Engineers says the Blue Roof Program is ramping up to install hundreds of tarps per day

In southeast Louisiana, Army engineers are ramping up efforts in hopes of getting hundreds of damaged roofs covered as part of the federal Hurricane Ida recovery effort called Operation Blue Roof.  WVUE Fox 8 (LA) reports some homeowners say they cannot wait on the program to protect their homes, so they are hiring private companies to do the work because heavy rains are causing more damage. The number of completed jobs so far is approaching a thousand and officials hope to complete all projects within the next 60 to 90 days. Officials also say the call center is experiencing delays because of the large volume of impacted residences eligible for the program, “we apologize for any inconvenience and frustration caused by these challenges.” Some 56,000 people have registered for help and that number is expected to continue to grow.

FEMA Reimburses $600 Million To Health And Hospitals Corporation For Expanded Capacity, Staffing During Pandemic

CBS New York reports FEMA has agreed to reimburse $600 million to New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation for its expanded capacity and staffing during the pandemic. Sen. Chuck Schumer says FEMA tried to deprive the city’s public hospital system of the funds because it didn’t build or rent new facilities for COVID patients. The New York Daily News reports Schumer said Wednesday he and his colleagues aggressively pressed FEMA to secure the funding. Schumer said, “We met and fought and fought. Today we are happy to announce that FEMA has relented.” The New York Times also covered news of the payment (paywalled.)

Oregon counties requesting emergency help getting mobile morgues

In Oregon, KCBY CBS 11 (OR) reports several hospitals have brought in trailers to act as mobile morgues, including Providence Portland and Providence St. Vincent. Now, other counties and hospitals are asking for similar assistance from the state. Officials say the state isn’t close to running out of resources, yet, but it is preparing for that potential noting they are working with FEMA to request even more assistance if needed. Officials are being proactive trying to avoid running out of storage space until decedents can be buried or cremated.

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