Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA-03) have blasted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for denying the state’s appeal for emergency assistance.
This, after a tornado struck the city of Newnan and surrounding areas in March.
An EF-4 tornado and other severe storms damaged the area earlier this year.
Ferguson told his constituents in an emailed newsletter Wednesday that members of the Biden administration denied Georgia’s appeal.
“To them, the ‘severity and magnitude’ of this EF-4 tornado doesn’t warrant individual assistance. That is not only a slap in the face to those who have suffered severe damage, it simply doesn’t make sense when the Biden administration has so recklessly spent trillions of dollars in only six months,” Ferguson wrote.
“Real Americans are in real need, and the Biden administration is doing nothing.”
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell told Kemp in a letter this week that the tornado did not inflict enough damage to merit help under the agency’s Individual Assistance Program.
Ferguson and Kemp released a letter Wednesday addressing the situation.
“FEMA’s July 1st rejection of Georgia’s request for Individual Assistance for Coweta County, following significant damage to the City of Newnan and Coweta County by an EF-4 tornado and other severe weather during March 25th and 26th of 2021, is very disappointing,” according to the letter.
“After FEMA’s initial denial, we all came together – the State of Georgia, city and county officials, as well as elected representatives and civic groups – to appeal their wrong decision and ensure they fully understood the devastation that families experienced during this traumatic storm. At a time when Congress and the Biden administration are proposing legislation to spend trillions upon trillions of taxpayer dollars, we continue to urge FEMA to do the right thing and grant the state’s request for individual assistance to help Georgians who were impacted and are now trying to rebuild their lives.”
State Sen. Matt Brass (R-Newnan) as well as State Rep. Lynn Smith (R-Newnan), State Rep. Phillip Singleton (R-Sharpsburg), and State Rep. David Jenkins (R-Grantville) co-signed Kemp’s letter.
Ferguson, referring to the tornado, said in April that the total amount of uninsured public damage in the state exceeded $16 million. That amount of damage, he went on to say, would allow FEMA to help local governments clean up in the aftermath.
Quoting preliminary data from the Coweta County government, Ferguson said the tornado damaged more than 1,700 homes on March 26. He said some of those homes required demolition. Newnan High School also sustained severe damage, Ferguson said.
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