Feds REJECT Aid for Washington Wildfire Victims – State On To Plan “B”
We don't always agree with Gov. Jay Inslee, but this time, we're in agreement that the Federal government has dropped the ball!
Inslee showed remarkable restraint after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) rejected Washington state's appeal of a decision to DENY assistance for hundreds of victims of recent wildfires.
In what Northwest Cable News called a "terse" three-paragraph statement, FEMA Officials basically told Inslee and our state, 'your damage isn't enough for us to help you.'
Inslee said after one of the worst wildfire seasons in modern history in our state, over 300 homes were destroyed, and the damage in Okanogan County alone was over $28 million dollars. According to NWCN:
"... FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said the effect to individuals and homeowners "was not of the severity and magnitude to warrant" individual assistance."
Inslee said he will now work with state officials to convene a task force, and try to find ways to obtain funding within the state and other sources to assist the victims. Many of the affected areas were rural, and were especially low-income housing. Inslee said many of the victims will have a difficult time trying to replace or rebuild their homes, and towns will have a hard time trying to rebuild their infrastructure.
GOP and Democratic leaders, including Senators Murray and Cantwell, Rep. Hastings and others pressured FEMA repeatedly to approve the funding to help the victims, but their appeals have fallen on deaf ears.