Today, Congressmen Joe Donnelly and Mark Souder sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requesting to see the documents relating to the agency's decision to deny disaster relief after the tornado of October 18, 2007 to three northern Indiana counties, and, in particular, the residents of Nappanee.
"A few weeks ago, I met with FEMA officials to get an explanation for why the agency denied Governor Daniels' requests for disaster relief for the residents of Elkhart, Marshall and Kosciusko Counties," Donnelly said. "I asked for the meeting to get answers, and while some were provided, it's still not clear to me how FEMA could have reached the decisions it did."
"As a result, along with Congressman Souder, I have asked FEMA to make available the documents relating to its decisions to deny the relief. FEMA may expect people to give them the benefit of the doubt in situations like this, but I'll do no such thing until I have a better idea of how it came to its decisions. Until additional information is forthcoming, Mark and I will hold their feet to the fire."
"I remain extremely disappointed that FEMA denied the governor's federal disaster declaration requests following last October's Nappanee tornado," said Congressman Mark Souder. "Having seen the extent of the damage, it astounds me that FEMA could issue such denials, and I'm concerned that this federal agency is biased against small towns. Joe and I are committed to getting to the bottom of this. We want to see exactly how FEMA made its decisions."
Donnelly and Souder requested to hear back from FEMA within two weeks.