FEMA Denies Disaster Aid For Dallas Area Tornado Outbreak In October

View The Original Article Here

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has denied a major disaster declaration request by Texas for damage caused by the tornado outbreak in Dallas County in October 2019.

The Dallas area has been waiting months for millions of dollars in aid after the tornadoes ravaged through North Texas and destroyed many homes, businesses and schools.

In January, Dallas County leaders had hoped to qualify for the disaster aid due to uninsured losses sustained by the City of Dallas and the Dallas Independent School District. However, after months of delays in waiting for FEMA funds, the state finally received its answer to a disaster declaration request.

“Based on our review of all the information available, it has been determined that the damage from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments,” FEMA said in a letter to the state. “Accordingly, we have determined that supplemental federal assistance is not necessary.”

Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to appeal, along with the help from area leaders such as Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who previously sent a letter to FEMA alongside Sen. Ted Cruz to expedite its review of the tornado damage, said he spoke with Johnson about the denial and will be looking at ways to assist the city.

“I told him we’re not going to leave him hanging out there by himself or Dallas by itself. We’re going to be there and we will work our way through that because you’re right, it’s a huge blow to the finances of the city,” Cornyn told CBS 11 News.

When asked about a potential bill to provide extra funding to the city, Cornyn said: “I would say that’s one of the options on the table.”

FEMA is still looking to find out how much Dallas ISD’s insurer will reimburse the district for damages to school buildings. The answer could help in the appeal.