ANDERSON, Ind. — After initially rejecting Indiana’s request for federal aid following a brutal winter, the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved disaster relief on Tuesday.
The disaster aid will cover 19 Indiana counties — including Madison — hit by storms that brought feet of snow and polar conditions through the area for weeks. The announcement came about two weeks after Indiana Gov. Mike Pence appealed the agency’s decision. FEMA had rejected aid for local governments and nonprofit groups in 49 counties.
Counties that are approved can obtain federal grants to cover 75 percent of their expenses for the storm’s damage to roads and other infrastructure from Jan. 5-9.
The 18 other approved counties are: Boone, Clay, Hendricks, Huntington, Jasper, Kosciusko, Morgan, Newton, Noble, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Tipton, Vigo, Wabash, White and Whitley Counties.
“This has been an arduous process, but the outcome is good news for Hoosiers,” Pence said in a prepared statement. “These grants will provide millions to local governments and select nonprofits that are hurting financially, and I congratulate the counties, cities, and towns for their perseverance.”
The governor’s news release said that the Department of Homeland Security will work with local agencies to document allowable expenses.
The state experienced its snowiest winter on record, and also one of the coldest. Madison County received more than 56 inches of snow in December, January, February and March, shattering previous records by almost a half foot.
The harsh winter also caused two deaths in the county.
Representatives of Madison County Emergency Management Agency couldn’t be reached for comment on Tuesday.
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