Federal Emergency Management Agency Turns Down June's Flood Victims

By Puko, Tim | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 5, 2009 | Go to article overview

Federal Emergency Management Agency Turns Down June's Flood Victims


Puko, Tim, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


June's flood victims will get no help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Gov. Ed Rendell said Friday.

The government rejected the region's last chance to get FEMA help for an estimated $30 million of damage to public and private property in Allegheny, Westmoreland, Erie and York counties. Instead, people should seek low-interest, long-term loans from the federal Small Business Administration, state officials said.

FEMA officials did not detail the reasons for denying reimbursement, Rendell spokesman Gary Tuma said.

Betty Shields, 82, and her husband had to move from Turtle Creek when town officials condemned their home because of flood damage. They had lived there since 1963 and now live in a third-floor apartment though her husband is disabled and uses a walker, Shields said.

"I think FEMA should have helped us to get back into the house," Shields said. "I think it's rotten."

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato said he and other officials are "deeply disheartened" that FEMA rejected the appeal for federal assistance.

"There are still residents and business owners struggling to repair damage and get back on their feet," he said in a statement. …

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