Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

April 23, 2014

Elkhart, LaGrange counties denied FEMA aid

GOSHEN — Elkhart and LaGrange counties were not among the 19 Indiana counties that had financial aid approved Tuesday by FEMA for a January winter storm.

Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the aid for the counties. But 49 counties applied for the aid for the Jan. 5 to 9 winter storm that brought record or near-record cold and snowfall to much of Indiana. Pence said the state will continue to appeal for aid for the other 30 counties.

“This has been an arduous process, but the outcome is good news for Hoosiers,” Pence said. “These grants will provide millions to local governments and select nonprofits that are hurting financially, and I congratulate the counties, cities, and towns for their perseverance.”

Counties approved for FEMA assistance are Boone, Clay, Hendricks, Huntington, Jasper, Kosciusko, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Noble, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Tipton, Vigo, Wabash, White and Whitley.

FEMA originally denied the aid earlier this month to all 49 applicants. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security appealed those denials.

Now Elkhart County officials are waiting for the IDHS to again appeal their case to FEMA.

“It’s in the state’s hands right now, they are fighting for the counties right now,” said Jennifer Tobey, the county’s director of emergency management.

Tobey said earlier this month the storm cost cities, towns, the county government and local non-profit agencies $851,000. FEMA could have reimbursed those entities up to 75 percent of their costs.

“We have been resubmitting information but we have to play the game and keep plugging away and keep trying,” Tobey said.

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