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Individual Assistance Program Appeal Headed To FEMA

Indiana Department of Homeland Security should have the appeal on the governor's desk by the end of the week.

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Photo: Dan Goldblatt (WFIU News)

FEMA originally denied assistance to home and business owners, but that decision is being appealed.

Seven additional Indiana counties could be added to FEMA’s Public Assistance program, raising the number receiving federal aid to 39. The program helps fund repairs to public facilities after disasters, like this spring’s flooding and severe storms. FEMA spokesman William Lindsey said the agency has set up a Bloomington Joint Field Office to manage public assistance throughout the state.

 “This is to make sure that all the necessary paperwork is not duplicated and that we’re giving a hand,” he said. “We were asked to come in by the governor, so that’s what we’re doing here, to assist getting back to a sense of normalcy, so that we can get these roads repaired.”

Though public assistance programs are underway, the state is preparing to file an appeal to an earlier FEMA denial of individual assistance. Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman Arvin Copeland said his department is putting the final touches on the paperwork.

 “We should have the appeal letter to the governor’s office in a couple days, and then sent off to FEMA before the end of the week,” he said. “We’re going to do our best to get this appeal in and get it the decision overturned.”

If the appeal is granted, Bloomington’s Field Office will also manage the Individual Assistance program.

The seven counties FEMA is looking at in the most recent round of Public Assistance reviews include Lawrence, Vermillion, Clay, Vigo, Decatur, Wayne, and Jasper.

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