Jul 8, 2010 6:23 PM by Carolyn Cerda
One of the biggest health concerns after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita was high formaldehyde levels in FEMA trailers. But since then, the fear of becoming sick in the trailers has vanished with a good bargain.
300 FEMA trailers now fill the old Evangeline Downs Race Track in Carencro. Anxious bargainers are previewing what could be their new camper, if they have the right price. The trailers will be auctioned off this Saturday.
Mike Cagley with Henderson Auctions says the company cleans and tests every trailer before they're sold. He says the formaldehyde levels are well below federal housing guidelines.
"We try to make sure that they're safe, you know, we're concerned about everybody's health and our liability," said Cagley.
Shoppers believe they are safe. Those we spoke with said they're not concerned at all about the possible health risks that come with the FEMA trailers. Most say, they're not going to live in them, only use them occassionally.
And, Cagley says that's exactly how they should be used.
"They're not to be used for permanent housing, which is not what we're selling them for... we're selling them for recreational use."
Cagley says the trailers at past auctions have sold anywhere from $1,200 to $12,000. Bargain hunters say that's a small price to pay for what they believe is a small risk.
A Houma resident who traveled to Carencro for the auction said, "I can live in formaldehyde for 3 or 4 days it ain't going to kill me."
Gates will be open for previewing from 8am-6pm on Friday. The auction begins Saturday at 3620 N.E. Evangeline Thruway in Carencro at 9am. Visit hendersonauctions.com for more information.