Katrina destroyed about 400 municipal vehicles from the fleets of many South Mississippi towns, the Sun Herald reported this week. Hundreds more vehicles have severe damage. Those numbers will grow because some towns are just beginning to make assessments. Local governments are waiting for insurance money and possible aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to replace their fleets. In the meantime, municipal workers have been walking, using bicycles donated by Wal-Mart, or bumming rides, according to the report. Workers using the city of Long Beach’s motor pool have been driving vehicles with the windows knocked out. Ocean Springs city workers have been driving their water-damaged vehicles, with salt water in the transmissions and in the engine and wiring, because funding for new vehicles hasn’t been collected yet, the report said. Many vehicles may face complications down the road, as the salt water starts to corrode engine parts. The city of Waveland lost all its vehicles—91—while Biloxi reported the most vehicles destroyed total, 112. The mayor of Waveland reported that four pumper trucks, weighing 78,000 pounds each, simply floated away.
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