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Cities Still Wait for 2017 Hurricane Aid

Municipalities in Florida and Texas are still waiting for promised 2017 hurricane aid.
June 5, 2018

Municipalities in Florida and Texas continue to await hundreds of millions of dollars in expected aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for 2017 storms.

In Texas, more than one-third of an expected $695 million is still outstanding. In Florida, less than 1 percent of the promised $83 million in federal money has reached cities and counties. “If we have another storm this year, then we’ll really be in trouble,” said Roman Gastesi, administrator of Florida’s Monroe County, which is waiting for $34 million.

As the result of the delays, local governments must tap emergency funds, borrow money, and cut spending, leaving them less fiscal room to get ready for the next disaster. Federal auditors say the fault lies with an unwieldy reimbursement process and the fact that FEMA is stretched thin by the pace and scale of disasters.

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