Some 1,400 FEMA trailers are reported in Orange County, Judge Carl Thibodeaux told commissioners in this week’s general session.

“It’s projected there are about another 1,200 left to go,” he said. 

“The [new] trailer park in Bridge City is moving right along, and the site in Orange along Interstate 10, which is the old Longhorn entertainment complex … The work order has been issued to contract and start site preparation.”

Right now about $40 million is in the county after Hurricane Ike, but it’s not all greenbacks. Trailer houses count for some of it, along with hotel and other living expenses of those waiting for housing, he said.

The county still awaits some $7 million promised by FEMA, he said.

“It’s in the pipeline,” he said. “But FEMA’s pipeline looks like one of those slides at a water park. It’s got more curves than straight lines.”

Also this week, commissioners agreed to spend an estimated $162,000 for restoration of courthouse records damaged by Ike’s flood waters. 

The papers were transferred to a Houston facility and will be meticulously dried-out by a contracted company.

County departments such as social services and adult probation asked for no restoration. Others such as the sheriff’s and treasurer’s offices requested the process. 

Some records survived the flood because they were stored above the water line, said Road and Bridge Director Les Anderson. 

Regina Cameron, director of preservation, said most of the damaged records were no more than four or five years old. 

Anything archived before that time had already been transferred to microfilm or other media and was not damaged by the water.

In open comments, Precinct 4 Commissioner Beamon Minton advised residents not to deposit hurricane debris along farm roads or state highways.

“I think they’re under the impression that the county’s going to [pick it up] and we’re not,” he said.

In other business, commissioners extended the county’s current disaster declaration until Dec. 22. Thibodeaux said extensions will likely continue through much of 2009.