Governor Mike Pence wants to appeal the Federal Emergency Management Agency's decision to not declare parts of Howard County a disaster area. Severe storms tore through the state last month, damaging nearly 1,000 homes in the county. Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster estimates close to $3 million in aid is needed. December 12, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has denied Indiana's request for a major disaster declaration in Howard County.

Governor Pence is very concerned about Hoosiers during this holiday season who suffered loss of property and need support to rebuild their lives.

“Hoosiers who were affected by the storms of Nov. 17 deserve relief, and I have directed the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to prepare and submit an immediate appeal to this initial denial,” Governor Pence said.

As part of Indiana's appeal, IDHS will request joint preliminary damage assessments for other severely affected counties. The assessments will be conducted by FEMA, IDHS and county emergency management agencies.

The request was made on December 4 for individual assistance, which would have included grants and low-interest loans for citizens and low-interest loans for businesses in Howard County devastated by tornadoes and severe storms that affected parts of Indiana on November 17.

Howard County damage documentation included:

-191 homes have sustained major damage or have been destroyed. In all, nearly 1,000 homes have sustained damage.

-Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOADs) preliminarily estimates more than $2.84 million will be needed for unmet needs in Howard County alone after a Presidential Major Disaster for individual assistance is declared.

Source: The Indiana Department of Homeland Security

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