State Government

Disaster Want and Waste

Try as we might to be positive about Idaho efforts to offer assistance to disaster victims in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the use of a gas guzzling Idaho Air Guard C-130 to haul water across the USA is the epitome of government waste.

This relief effort is devoid of common sense and leadership. The water lift provided a free ride for Channel 7 news and accompanying publicity for a bottled water firm. We see it as a publicity stunt, however well intended. The trip consumed many more gallons of fuel than the water it delivered.

For the price of the fuel for the C-130 (estimated at close to $5,000 per hour) water from much closer sanitary bottling sources could have been supplied. Someone in command needs to buy the entire production capacity of a local southern dairy or soft drink bottler and effortlessly switch to bottling water…soda or orange juice is 98% water anyway.

We have no doubt such facilities are up and running within l50 miles of the places the water is needed. Common sense instead of publicity would serve to assist disaster victims in need of safe bottled water.

The soft drink and dairy bottlers have the water, the bottles, and the equipment to distribute the water. Idaho needs to save the gas, offer our common sense and even PAY for the bottling at places like Little Rock, or Baton Rouge.

Idaho Read Cross director Vaughn Killeen has publicy asked for cash donations rather than food and clothing because, “The logistics of collecting and delivering would cost much more than purchasing the needed items locally in the Gulf area.”

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Sharon Ullman
    Sep 2, 2005, 3:22 pm

    My heart goes out to the victims of Hurricane Katrina – especially to the babies, children, elderly, sick and disabled – who are stuck in appalling and inhumane conditions. The Guardian is correct: with a little common sense, more help can be provided in a more cost-effective manner than we have seen thus far. It is troubling that the richest nation on earth cannot respond more rapidly to provide needed humanitarian relief to those hardest hit. It is also incomprehensible to me that people are actually talking about rebuilding New Orleans. I do not mind having my tax dollars go to humanitarian aid for hurricane victims. In fact, I strongly support the relief efforts, but I certainly do not want to see public funding go toward rebuilding this below sea level – and sinking – city, which would simply be inviting another natural disaster of equal magnitude to the one just passed.

  2. Because of sheer numbers, it is likely our area will be asked to house refugees from the gulf states. If anyone has a motor home, extra rooms, beds, apartment, etc. please go to and let them know by entering your information. Today the President signed a waiver of HUD rules requiring employment in order that those left homeless may qualify for shelter in HUD funded housing. I too am sickened by the “stunt” involving using C130s to haul water. If they really wanted to help they should have offloaded water and then loaded up refugees. I love New Orleans and its people. I am heartbroken by their pain and suffering. We will house 9 if they get here. Please check out this site. Thanks

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