Late Tuesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced its decision to reject Milwaukee County’s application for individual aid to residents whose homes were lost or severely damaged, due to flooding. Alderman Willie L. Hines, Jr., President of the Common Council, and Alderman Ashanti Hamilton , Chair of the Judiciary and Legislation Committee, have expressed their disappointment with the lack of federal response.
“What FEMA has failed to realize is that for hundreds of Milwaukee families, their basements serve as first-floor dwelling units,” said President Hines Wednesday. “Mayor Barrett and his administrative staff made this case crystal clear in the supplemental materials that they supplied to FEMA last week. While I understand that FEMA has particular guidelines that must be followed, it appears that Milwaukee County meets those guidelines, so the application should be reconsidered.”
“People are hurting and entire homes have been decimated,” added Alderman Hamilton, whose district was hardest hit by the historic flooding of July 22. “If we can’t get assistance when homes are literally destroyed, then when can the federal government provide some relief? I believe that Governor Doyle will and should appeal this decision.”
Hines and Hamilton both stated that while FEMA assistance is merited, other levels of government, churches, community groups and even residents have a responsibility to do all that they can to help address the fallout from flooding. “If you are a church or an organization in an area that has been flooded, and you have resources, please do not hesitate to act and reach out to those who are suffering,” said President Hines. “All of us have a role to play, and all of us have a responsibility to act.”