Don't Lose the Recipe Either!


FEMA has too much ice for the Gulf Coast—200 trucks worth, give or take. So FEMA has done what anyone would do when confronted with a suplus of a commodity worth 26 cents a pound—order it trucked to Maine to be stored until the hurricane season is over.

More here, here, and here.

Something to make the pain go away—you are on your own.

NEXT: A Billion Here, a Billion There

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Dude, Maine? This must be a public jobs project. However, I have a feeling that truck drivers are probably not the folks that need jobs now.

  2. So I’m assuming this means that they have more than enough clean water on hand, right?

  3. Dude, you can’t expect people to drink melted ice, can you? I mean, what are we, animals?

  4. Whatever, so long as I don’t have to pay for it.

    Oh, wait…

  5. Well, you want want FEMA to be guilty of waste, now would you?

  6. What are politicians coming to this days? Back in the good old days the head of FEMA would have had a couple of trucks dump the stuff in his backyard so he and his cronies could get in a little summer skiing!

  7. criminey!


  8. I could a whole lotta mint juleps with that ice. The bastards.

  9. After RTFAs, I can only guess that just maybe there is nowhere in Louisiana to store the ice, and it’s cheaper to haul it to Maine than keep the trucks running? I don’t know (nor does anyone else), but the story does on its face seem ridiculous.

  10. And yet there are those who continue to insist that centralized government planning is the best approach for crisis management.

    It truly boggles the mind.

  11. It just keeps gettin’ better.

  12. The truck drivers are getting paid $800 a day to wait around in Portland, since they can only unload four trucks at a time. Good lord.

  13. Did FEMA tap the strategic frozen water reserves?

  14. A few anarchists might be so silly, but they wouldn’t be being silly with your tax dollars.

    An onslaught of anarchists would make complexity produce order for free. They would snatch common sense from the jaws of chaos.

    I could go on…

  15. What to say? Bourbon on the rocks will just have to be Bourbon and water.

    Gotta blame Bush for that, too …

  16. Ten bucks says all this ice gets shipped down to Houston in a week.

    And on your dime, no less. I

  17. AHHHHHH!!!
    For the love of dog
    Please please please
    just make it stop

  18. You know, in light of all of the heroic deeds, accomplishments, and lives that FEMA saved, I think we can let this one slide.

  19. NEWMAN: That’s good stuff, and you can never have too much ice.

  20. Excuse me, dears, but I believe someone just sent “word” to me about “ice, ice, baby”?

  21. Are they trying to figure out how to blame this on the mayor and LA gov too?

    Guess they can turn those trucks around and have them drive to TX now for Rita. Feel sorry for the poor SOB’s that get hit by this next one but hopefully it’ll be a**’s&elbows getting help in there after it hits.

  22. Doc,

    it will take them a week to re-load the trucks before they can start driving to Texas. With the drivers getting paid for that idle time as well. And of course, none of that can begin until the governor of Texas makes an official, written, emergency request for ice. In triplicate.

  23. This is actually some proactive thinking.

    If we ever get attacked by The Blob we can ice it down with this shit.

  24. “The agency admits that the ice is worth millions of dollars, and the truckers are getting paid by the day to haul it around even though it hasn’t been delivered anywhere useful.”

    Ahhh, the wondrous possibilities when you’re spending someone else’s money! “Uh, yeah, gubna, we got the ice ya ordered. What’s that? You don’t need it? Oh, ok, sounds good. We’ll just truck it on up to where it’s cold. Huh? Oh, no don’t sweat that—it’s not like WE’Re paying the drivers! Ha!”

    Why not just go Brewster’s Millions-style, and invest in an iceberg, then tow it down to the gulf coast or FL Keys when they need ice? Hey, if it’s more than they need, we can just pay the freighter to tow it back up to the arctic circle, right?

  25. It could be worse. They could be going to Aroostook County instead of Portland.

    I didn’t read all the links, but the first one said the ice cost 26 cents a pound. I’m sure that’s the cost of the ice and not the ice + overhead.

    Isn’t that almost twice the going rate in most markets?? I’ve been paying 16 cents a pound this summer, and I haven’t even been shopping around.

    So the moral of the story is you can’t expect the government to be concerned about price gouging when they don’t even know when they’re being gouged.

  26. My grandfather once worked for the USDA at a field research station and ended up storing several thousand pounds of useless pecan hulls because someone misclassified them as a “product.” It took several weeks to sort things out and in the mean time they lost the use of most of their storage sheds. That story shaped a lot of perspective on how government works.

    What do you wish to bet that government regulation won’t allow FEMA to just dump the ice? The ice is now the property of the US government and no doubt must be properly accounted for and warehoused.

  27. After RTFAs, I can only guess that just maybe there is nowhere in Louisiana to store the ice, and it’s cheaper to haul it to Maine than keep the trucks running?

    The ice is a sunk cost. You don’t go chasing sunk costs. If you don’t need it, dump it.

  28. R C,
    Doesn’t ice float?

  29. I’m suprirsed someone hasn’t come forward and suggested that we use the ice to make a series of beautiful ice sculptures (by artists paid for with tax money) that would uplift the spirits of displaced New Orleans residents and make the whole country believe in miracles again!

  30. The $0.26 a pound seems high to me. I worked in an ice factory one summer during college (about 5 years ago now) packing the stuff and was told by the owner that the cost was $0.25 per bag to produce(each bag was about 6 pounds). This included labour and other overhead costs. I’m sure it has gone up since then but not a 6X increase.

  31. The folks my heart goes out to are the ones that took shelter from Katrina in the Astrodome.

    You aren’t paranoid if they’re really out to get you.

  32. I also noticed right away that $0.26/lb is way too high for ice. Dude, I can get you certain commodity chemicals for $0.26/lb. This is like the new version of the $10,000 toilet seat.

  33. Here’s an article with a bit more detail. Especially humorous are the words of the FEMA spokewoman explaining why FEMA ordered too much ice.

    And not only did FEMA get ripped off retail, they realllly got ripped off wholesale.

  34. I used to work for AmeriCold until about 3 months ago when I quit due to politics. I worked in the supply chain analysis/transportation unit doing optimization, proposals and pricing. AmeriCold is owned 20% by Ron Burkle (who owns Yucaipa), a huge Democrat activist with Jesse Jackson and Bill Clinton on his board. I believe the deal here is that AmeriCold sold them warehouse space cheap and managed the transportation and are making a killing on the transportation and doing the warehousing cheap because they are filling up empty warehouse space in their network. AmeriCold doesn’t exactly have the sharpest knives in the drawer within management. Trust me, this is why I left.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.