Feds Send Replacement Blue Tarps to Panhandle as Roof Repairs Lag

Many of the blue plastic tarps used to cover about 40,000 roofs damaged by Hurricane Ivan are cracking and deteriorating.

Homes are being left vulnerable to water damage and mold formation when it rains.

Relief agencies say they still are getting about 60 calls a day about roof problems although Ivan struck more than four months ago, on September 16.

The roofs of many buildings remain unrepaired because owners have not yet obtained insurance settlements or found contractors to do the work.

Cold weather, strong winds and extended exposure to sunlight, meanwhile, have battered many of the tarps.

Some private relief organizations including United Way have offered to help coordinate tarp replacement, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman, Mary Hudak, said Friday that FEMA has no plans to send any more to the Florida Panhandle.