Quantcast

Millions in ice allowed to melt in warehouse after Hurricane Isa - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Millions in ice allowed to melt in warehouse after Hurricane Isaac

Posted: Updated:
Pelican Ice warehouse. Photo courtesy of LA Office of State Inspector General. Pelican Ice warehouse. Photo courtesy of LA Office of State Inspector General.
Pelican Ice warehouse. Photo courtesy of LA Office of State Inspector General. Pelican Ice warehouse. Photo courtesy of LA Office of State Inspector General.
Pelican Ice warehouse. Photo courtesy of LA Office of State Inspector General. Pelican Ice warehouse. Photo courtesy of LA Office of State Inspector General.
KENNER, La. -

Millions in taxpayer dollars was essentially allowed to 'melt away' in a south Louisiana warehouse in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac.

That's according to a new report released August 1st by the Louisiana Inspector General's office.

As Hurricane Isaac made landfall last August, affected parishes began making requests for certain commodities.

One of those commodities was ice, and according to the OIG report - lots of it.

"We have been through enough trauma and natural disasters and man-made disasters for a lifetime," says Jill Craft, attorney for former state worker, Bruce Ellis, who is currently suing the state.

Ellis claims he lost his job after exposing the ice program's flaws.

The report states that the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) purchased 33,924,000 pounds of bagged ice from Kenner, LA company, Pelican Ice.

Of that, the reports says only about 6,248,000 pounds made it to storm victims.

The rest of it was allowed to melt in a Pelican Ice warehouse in Lacombe, LA.

In fact, due to an insufficient inventory tracking system, the Inspector General says the state was unable to figure out at any given moment how much ice was purchased, and how much had already been handed out.

Craft says the state should own up to its mistake, not point the finger of blame.

"Frankly, as a citizen and a taxpayer, it's outrageous to me that we spend so much money on unnecessary commodities and you almost get the impression, well it's not my money. Why should I worry about it?"

Ellis's co-worker shot cell video of the millions of pounds of bagged ice inside the Lacombe warehouse.

Ellis was a commodities specialist and says he tried to warn the state their ordering was excessive.

In total, the state was charged $17,407,633 for the ice. According to the report, this was the second major ice purchase by GOHSEP, which replaced FEMA as the state's main cold customer.

The report also says that as the threat of Isaac diminished, 71 truckloads of the ice was donated to private businesses and restaurants.

Craft says a warehouse full of melted ice has much larger implications for future aid during natual disasters.

"Taxpayers in the state are smart enough to realize that waste on one issue is going to eventually translate into, 'we're just not coming and the sky is falling and we're not your pleas this time.'"

A spokesperson for GOHSEP couldn't comment on pending litigation, but says the state doesn't dispute any findings in the report and that they're working to ensure this type of situation never happens again.

The report also includes recommendations for both GOHSEP - and the Louisiana National Guard - which plays a role in determining how much ice should be ordered.

Those two agencies responded with their own corrective actions, including an updated inventory system to track all commodities.

The state also created contracts with three new vendors that include a provision for returning any un-used ice to the vendor that has not been used in refrigerated trucks.

To read the full report, click here.

  • KTBS 3 InvestigatesMore>>

  • Overton Brooks' Patient's appointment cancellation causes concern

    Overton Brooks' Patient's appointment cancellation causes concern

    Friday, July 11 2014 2:28 PM EDT2014-07-11 18:28:29 GMT
    We've been told by many veterans that they receive quality care at the V.A. hospital in Shreveport. But for some getting an appointment to see their caregivers is the challenge. According to our V.A., they do not have a problem getting patients seen quickly - and the numbers they report echo that conclusion. We’ve uncovered concerns, however, over how their numbers look so good - while patients are still waiting to be seen.“Certainly from my viewpoint here, as a veteran, as a physician, the c...
    We've been told by many veterans that they receive quality care at the V.A. hospital in Shreveport. But for some getting an appointment to see their caregivers is the challenge. According to our V.A., they do not have a problem getting patients seen quickly - and the numbers they report echo that conclusion. We’ve uncovered concerns, however, over how their numbers look so good - while patients are still waiting to be seen.“Certainly from my viewpoint here, as a veteran, as a physician, the c...
  • Overton Brooks Patient says V.A. is lying about access to care

    Overton Brooks Patient says V.A. is lying about access to care

    Friday, July 11 2014 2:14 PM EDT2014-07-11 18:14:50 GMT
    So far we've brought you a whistle blower employee, and then, after two weeks of waiting, you heard the official V.A. response. But it's said that there are three sides to every story.“We're not challenged for access at Overton Brooks, we can provide same day access, that's why we're encouraging same day access, that's why we're encouraging veterans to enroll into our system.” Those are the words from Interim Director at Overton Brooks V.A. Medical Center, Toby Mathew, during the news confere...
    So far we've brought you a whistle blower employee, and then, after two weeks of waiting, you heard the official V.A. response. But it's said that there are three sides to every story.“We're not challenged for access at Overton Brooks, we can provide same day access, that's why we're encouraging same day access, that's why we're encouraging veterans to enroll into our system.” Those are the words from Interim Director at Overton Brooks V.A. Medical Center, Toby Mathew, during the news confere...
  • Shreveport V.A. Whistleblower: "This behavior is built into the foundation."

    Shreveport V.A. Whistleblower: "This behavior is built into the foundation."

    Thursday, July 10 2014 11:18 AM EDT2014-07-10 15:18:48 GMT
    Ever since allegations that veterans died waiting for care came out of phoenix, we've all been asking, why, and how could an organization aimed at helping our servicemen and women foster an atmosphere where this has gone on for so long? 
    Ever since allegations that veterans died waiting for care came out of phoenix, we've all been asking, why, and how could an organization aimed at helping our servicemen and women foster an atmosphere where this has gone on for so long? 
  • Assignment EducationMore>>

  • Teachers prepare for start of new school year

    Teachers prepare for start of new school year

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:08 PM EDT2014-07-25 01:08:03 GMT
    Students may still be enjoying summer break, but teachers have been hard at work trying to learn Louisiana's new math and ELA standards.
    Students may still be enjoying summer break, but teachers have been hard at work trying to learn Louisiana's new math and ELA standards.
  • BESE effort to hire lawyer faces Jindal resistance

    BESE effort to hire lawyer faces Jindal resistance

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:57 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:57:06 GMT
    The state education board has hit a roadblock from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration in its efforts to hire a law firm to pursue a possible lawsuit against the governor.
    The state education board has hit a roadblock from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration in its efforts to hire a law firm to pursue a possible lawsuit against the governor.
  • New nap time policy for kindergarten

    New nap time policy for kindergarten

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:46 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:46:04 GMT
    Time may be up for students to have nap-time in class.If you are a parent of a kindergartner, you will soon learn about a policy across Louisiana regarding when and if students are allowed to catch some z's during the school day.
    Time may be up for students to have nap-time in class.If you are a parent of a kindergartner, you will soon learn about a policy across Louisiana regarding when and if students are allowed to catch some z's during the school day.
  • NationalMore>>

  • Family feud sparks revolt at grocery store chain

    Family feud sparks revolt at grocery store chain

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:24 AM EDT2014-07-25 10:24:21 GMT
    It's been called a David vs. Goliath story, a "Tale of Two Arthurs" and even the "ultimate Greek tragedy," but the characters in this drama are not Biblical or literary figures.
    It's been called a David vs. Goliath story, a "Tale of Two Arthurs" and even the "ultimate Greek tragedy," but the characters in this drama are not Biblical or literary figures. They're grocery store owners.
  • Deadly fungus spreads in Everglades, killing trees

    Deadly fungus spreads in Everglades, killing trees

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:32 AM EDT2014-07-25 09:32:24 GMT
    A fungus carried by an invasive beetle from southeast Asia is felling trees across the Everglades, and experts have not found a way to stop a way to stop the blight from spreading.
    A fungus carried by an invasive beetle from southeast Asia is felling trees across the Everglades, and experts have not found a way to stop the blight from spreading.
  • Va. Gov. McAuliffe to tour tornado damage

    Va. Gov. McAuliffe to tour tornado damage

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:23 AM EDT2014-07-25 09:23:31 GMT
    Flattened trees, flipped-over RVs, scattered tents, and awnings ripped from trailers - a scene of devastation awaited the visit of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe the day after a tornado ripped through a campground...
    Flattened trees, flipped-over RVs, scattered tents, and awnings ripped from trailers - a scene of devastation awaited the visit of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe the day after a tornado ripped through a campground on the...
  • KTBS 3 News Tips

    Send your news tip or story idea to the KTBS 3 Newsroom.  Enter your email address below to get started.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for your submission to KTBS 3 News.  A member of our staff may contact you for more information.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Australia readies 90 police for Ukraine crash site

    Australia readies 90 police for Ukraine crash site

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:25 AM EDT2014-07-25 09:25:58 GMT
    Australia's prime minister says his country is close to finalizing a deal with Ukraine to send police and a small number of troops to secure the Malaysian plane crash site as part of a multinational team.
    Australia's prime minister says his country is close to finalizing a deal with Ukraine to send police and a small number of troops to secure the Malaysian plane crash site as part of a multinational team.
  • Taliban kill 14 Shiites in Afghanistan road attack

    Taliban kill 14 Shiites in Afghanistan road attack

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:24 AM EDT2014-07-25 09:24:43 GMT
    An Afghan official says Taliban insurgents halted minibuses in western Afghanistan, identified 14 Shiite passengers and shot them dead by the side of the road.
    An Afghan official says Taliban insurgents halted minibuses in western Afghanistan, identified 14 Shiite passengers and shot them dead by the side of the road.
  • KTBS 3 Storm Team Forecast

    KTBS 3 Storm Team Forecast

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:22 AM EDT2014-07-25 09:22:23 GMT
    7 Day Forecast7 Day Forecast

     Here's the 7 day forecast.

     Here's the 7 day forecast.

Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File