FEMA Continues to Chap Gov. Perry's Hide

Gov. Rick Perry criticized the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Thursday for its denial of an appeal to have the agency reimburse the state for costs associated with protective measures and recovery operations stemming from Hurricane Ike.

Texas had asked FEMA for 100 percent reimbursement of costs related to such things as evacuations of people and animals before Ike made landfall near Galveston on Sept. 13 and for the removal of hazardous materials after the storm.

Perry, who has been highly critical of FEMA's response in Texas in the wake of Ike, said FEMA continues to shortchange a state that has become a national model for disaster preparedness and response.

The governor also said Texas plans to appeal FEMA's denial for an extension of the 100 percent federal reimbursement of debris removal.

"FEMA will continue to support its state and local partners in their recovery efforts following Hurricane Ike," Ericka Lopez, a FEMA spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement.

Lopez said that to date more than $2 billion in disaster assistance has been awarded to Texas; $526.4 million has been given to individuals and households; $360.5 million has been given to complete 97 percent of debris removal; $335.4 million has been awarded for emergency protective measures; and $69.4 million has been given for repairs to roads and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings, public utilities and recreational and other areas.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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