State leaders call out FEMA after ‘steady stream’ of aid denials

State leaders call out FEMA after ‘steady stream’ of aid denials
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 4:27 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - State leaders are calling out FEMA after they say a “steady stream of reports” from eastern Kentuckians said they are being denied federal aid after the deadly floods.

Governor Andy Beshear said the aid that is being given is not enough, and too many people are being denied.

The FEMA recovery center at the Breathitt County library has been busy with people coming in to get aid, but one man said he’s not so sure how much help his family will get, after hearing about friends getting less than $200.

The devastation goes on for miles across eastern Kentucky, homes washed away, and families have lost everything.

“It’s devastating. I’ve lived here 20 years of my life and all I can tell you is I wish everything could go back to normal,” flood victim Parker Miller said.

For Miller and hundreds of other families, getting back to normal is going to be a daunting task.

“The process is relatively slow. We’ve turned to FEMA, the Red Cross. We’ve talked to Samaritan’s Purse. We’re just looking for help cleaning up, and maybe financial aid, because we’ve lost everything,” Miller said.

Miller and his family have applied for FEMA, and met with representatives Thursday. However, he’s not sure how much help they’ll get after hearing from a friend.

“Four feet of water. FEMA came and looked at it, and they only offered $176. I figure if money is not coming in, I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Miller said.

“I am not satisfied with the way FEMA claims are coming back right now. We are going to continue to push to be treated better by that organization,” Beshear said.

Beshear continued to be critical of the aid, saying while the state is grateful for the quick response and approving individual assistance in record time, the numbers are not adding up.

“Too many people are being denied, not enough people are being approved, and this is the time that FEMA has to get it right. To change what has been a history of denying too many people, and not providing enough dollars, and to get it right here,” Beshear said.

For Miller, he hopes the pressure leads to action. He’s worried what could happen to his community without help.

“I feel like without financial aid, our community will fall apart,” Miller said.

Gov. Beshear said FEMA has paid out $19.4 million to 2,700 families. That math would divide up to just under $7,200 per family. He said he has requested numbers from FEMA about cases that were denied, and why.

FEMA mobile registration centers are open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in seven counties. You can click this link to find a list of those locations.

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