FEMA rejects major disaster declaration for Indiana - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

FEMA rejects major disaster declaration for Indiana tornado victims


Gov. Mike Pence says the federal government has rejected Indiana's request that Howard County be declared a major disaster area because of damage from last month's tornadoes and severe storms.
The state on Dec. 4 asked FEMA to approve grants and low-interest loans to help homeowners and business in and around Kokomo recover from the Nov. 17 storm.

"Hoosiers who were affected by the storms of Nov. 17 deserve relief, and I have directed the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to prepare and submit an immediate appeal to this initial denial," Pence said.

"I am disappointed the administration denied Governor Pence's request for federal assistance to help Hoosiers recover from the severe tornadoes that struck Howard County in November," said Sen. Dan Coats (R-Indiana). "I will continue to work with Governor Pence to ensure Hoosiers receive the help they need to rebuild."

The state says 191 homes sustained major damage or were destroyed and nearly 1,000 homes overall were damaged. Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster has placed the preliminarily damage estimate at more than $2.84 million in Howard County alone.
The Indiana congressional delegation had urged FEMA to approve the request.

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