In the most macabre mishap, the chief body collector nearly pulled out of New Orleans over a dispute with FEMA. Kenyon Worldwide Disaster Services dispatched a small team and a mobile morgue to New Orleans as Katrina hit. With the death toll rising, Kenyon offered more staff and morgues if FEMA could broker a deal with Louisiana.
But FEMA and the company argued for two weeks until Kenyon finally gave the Feds an ultimatum: Work out a deal or find a new mortician.
The issue raised by the Feds that Kenyon found distasteful: an instruction that chaplains bless recovered bodies. A company source said the Feds are insisting on this, and the first chaplains are supposed to go out this week. Asked if that was mixing church and state, a FEMA spokeswoman responded: "A prayer is not necessarily religious. Everybody prays."