Energy & Environment

GOP chairman slams ‘pitiful’ FEMA response in Louisiana

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The chairman of a House Oversight subcommittee said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been derelict in its response to flooding in Louisiana.

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), whose panel oversees the agency, became the first out-of-state lawmaker to tour the flood damage Monday, launching a committee investigation into FEMA’s efforts.

{mosads}Mica specifically accused FEMA of being too slow with housing aid requests and taking too much time to set up temporary housing for displaced residents, The Associated Press reported.

“This is one of the biggest displacements of people I’ve ever seen in the country, and the response is pitiful from the federal level,” Mica said on the tour with state Rep. Garret Graves (R), adding that he believes FEMA needs more flexibility to respond to disasters.

Gerard Stotler, the region FEMA director, defended his agency’s actions.

“We’re working very closely with the state. We’re well aware of the devastation that’s out there, that this is an historic event,” Stolar said, according to AP.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edward (D) has also praised FEMA’s response.

Federal officials have approved more than $227 million in recovery grants, opened 22 assistance centers and deployed more than 1,100 housing inspectors.

More than 100,000 homes were damaged from the flooding, which is the worst natural disaster since 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.

The Oversight Committee said its probe’s purpose is to find out how effective FEMA’s response has been and what needs to happen moving forward.

The panel may convene a hearing if its findings show one is necessary, the committee said.

Tags 2016 Louisiana floods Federal Emergency Management Agency Garret Graves John Bel Edwards John Mica

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