FEMA says no to individual assistance

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The State's request for the addition of Individual Assistance (IA) from FEMA in light of the late-January ice storm has been denied, according to Clay County OEM coordinator Travis Boyd.

"I received a copy of the letter to Governor Beebe late Friday afternoon," he noted.

The denial letter from Federal Emergency Management Agency states that, based upon the Preliminary Damage Assessments, the impact to the private sector was not of the severity and magnitude to warrant implementation of the IA program. The state had asked for the assistance for 16 counties impacted by the Jan. 26-30 storm, and in response joint federal, state and local preliminary damage assessments were conducted from Feb. 9-13.

According to the letter, Arkansas' federal disaster declaration is for Public Assistance (PA) only. This allows federal assistance to cover 75 percent of the damages to public infrastructure in the affected counties, including debris removal, utility systems, water-control facilities as well as roads and bridges.

The correspondence indicated the denial may be appealed within 30 days and added that any appeals must be filed with the FEMA regional office in Denton, Texas.

Regional counties, including Clay County, had sought the additional assistance in light of the magnitude of the ice storm which crippled Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri for several weeks.

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