The Federal Emergency Management Agency will not provide money to help rebuild West (TX) infrastructure, where a deadly fertilizer plant explosion leveled numerous homes and a school, and killed 15 people, reports the Associated Press.
FEMA said in a letter that the state’s appeal to help West was reviewed but decided that the explosion “is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration.”
FEMA has, however, provided emergency funds to individual residents.
“I’m very disappointed,” said Mayor Tommy Muska. “I guess we’re third page news now. I’d like to know what their definition of a ‘major disaster’ really is.”
Muska said the rural community of 2,800 people needed the money to repair roads, the damaged sewer system and a school. He said the estimated cost of those repairs is $57 million, including $40 million to rebuild a school that was destroyed when the West Fertilizer Co. blew up in April.
“We don’t have the money to go out and borrow the money. We don’t have the means to pay that note back,” Muska said. “There’s got to be some public assistance.”
FEMA already has provided millions of dollars in aid to the town of West and its residents, but the decision prevents them from getting some of the widespread assistance typically available to victims of tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Read more of the story here http://bit.ly/119TcBM