Originally created 08/20/00

'Emergency' aid too slow



"Emergency relief" money available to homeowners who were displaced during the flash floods of June 20 is flowing to them - like a glacier, that is.

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency has put together the list of people who are most in need of immediate help, and it comes to about $80,000 so far. But it may be weeks before the funds are sent to Augusta-Richmond County for distribution to the 30 Augustans who are now eligible. More people may be added to the lists, as their grant applications are reviewed.

"Immediate need" was supposed to be the key phrase - money for short-term necessities, such as temporary housing, food, clothing and furnishings, emergency medical expenses, minor home repairs to make homes livable again and transportation costs.

But it has been two months since the flooding, and the money is still hung up in red tape, proving once again that bureaucracy moves at the speed of molasses in January.