FEMA Trailers Make Life Possible, but Difficult
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
Arthur Busby and Kevin Hubble are neighbors in New Orleans' East--these days living in FEMA trailers on their street. We last spoke with them in Arthur Busby's tiny trailer, in January, after watching President Bush State of the Union Address. We got them on the line yesterday, to find out if they're still living in those trailers. Good morning.
Mr. KEVIN HUBBLE (Resident, New Orleans): Good morning.
Mr. ARTHUR BUSBY (Resident, New Orleans): Morning.
MONTAGNE: So, why don't we just begin with you, Arthur Busby--still in that trailer?
Mr. BUSBY: Yes, I am.
MONTAGNE: And Kevin Hubble?
Mr. HUBBLE: Yes, I'm still in my trailer.
MONTAGNE: Now, these trailers, they're pretty small.
Mr. BUSBY: Yes. They are small.
Mr. HUBBLE: Four of us in ours.
MONTAGNE: Four of you: you, your wife who we met.
Mr. BUSBY: And we have two sons, nine and five.
MONTAGNE: How are you holding up?
Mr. BUSBY: As a family, we're doing okay. You know, it's like we have--my marriage hasn't broken up; although, we are under a lot of stress. My wife and I still work. But, you know, there is also the pressure and stress of rebuilding our home.
MONTAGNE: And Kevin, I understand, you just really just came back from Home Depot.
Mr. HUBBLE: I went and got a load of sheet rock. I had to go to three different places. One place was sold out. Another place, it rained yesterday. And all this stock had gotten wet. And, you know, we discovered that after waiting in line for an hour. It's just frustrating, Renee, it's frustrating. At least for me, anyway. I don't know. Arthur's seems to be holding up very well.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. BUSBY: Well, right now my house is a little better than Kevin's, 'cause I'm almost done. It will probably would be another month. I've got my drywall back up. I've got my floors in. Once I replace my windows, then I can then move in, back into my house, and FEMA can come and get their trailer.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. BUSBY: They can come and get it. It will probably take a year for them to come and get it, but they can come and get it. I'm just at wit's end with this trailer.
MONTAGNE: When we last visited you, your two families were among the very few who'd come back to that neighborhood. It was dark, felt abandoned. Have more families returned by now?
Mr. BUSBY: Oh, yes. Most of the families, with the exception of, I guess, two or three. Kevin?
Mr. HUBBLE: Yes, it's around...
Mr. BUSBY: Some people have trailers in the backyard. Some have them in the front yard. So it's quite a few people... We're coming along pretty well. It's just that trailers are so small that it's--they're very uncomfortable. I've been in there since December. They have yet to hook up electricity to the trailer. I have electricity in my house. So that's how I have electricity in the trailer.
MONTAGNE: You kind of rigged it up...
Mr. BUSBY: I...
Mr. BUSBY: Well, what happens is when the air condition cuts on, and I have the--if I accidentally cut on the microwave, then it blows the circuit breaker. But then I have to go out and either cut the air condition off, or cut the microwave off. Both of them cannot be on at the same time.
MONTAGNE: Yeah. And I imagine it's getting hotter there in New Orleans, about now.
Mr. BUSBY: Last week, we had a few days and the next (unintelligible). So it was terrible a few days.
MONTAGNE: Well, good luck to both of you. And take care and good-bye.
Mr. HUBBLE: Okay. Good-bye.
Mr. BUSBY: Okay. Bye-bye.
MONTAGNE: Arthur Busby and Kevin Hubble are neighbors on Edge Lake Court in New Orleans' East.
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