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FEMA Denies Indiana’s Appeal For Tornado Disaster Relief

The Federal Emergency Management Agency decided Indiana's damage was not extensive enough to qualify for assistance.

Walls are now windows in Michelle Steelman's house, where she has lived for 27 years.

Photo: Jashin Lin / WFIU

Walls became windows in Michelle Steelman's house, where she has lived for 27 years.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied Indiana assistance for counties affected by the November tornadoes.

FEMA denied the state’s initial request for assistance. Indiana appealed, and FEMA denied that appeal today.

Kokomo was one of the cities hardest hit by the storm. Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight says he’s disappointed in the decision but city residents have already made strides in the rebuilding effort.

“We’ve approached the whole situation as if we’ve got to figure this out ourselves and we’ve pretty much done that,” Goodnight says.

The state still has options.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman Jon Erickson says those include applying for low-interest loans for individuals and businesses.

“The first decision is we’ve got to make is do we believe we qualify,” he says. “We’ve “got to look at some data and see if it even makes sense for us to apply.”

The state had requested assistance for Boone, Daviess, Fountain, Howard, Grant and Tippecanoe Counties.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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