Friday, November 27, 2009

FEMA frustrations

I apologize to my many (two) readers. For some reason I labeled this the flood of '07 when it should have been '08. Typo? Senility? I just awoke from a coma? Nah, just a lot of working hours and not much sleep the past few weeks. Corrections made, forgiveness asked.

Nevertheless, we find that not only are these people frustrated with FEMA, FEMA now runs the country but here are a few others:

FEMA Robbery
FEMA is the most ineffective, inefficient, unproductive, bloated political cow ever to hit America.

I would not want FEMA on my resume.

Officials question new maps
"This process is horrible. ... It's broken. It's pretty obvious that's the case," said Gina Hardin, county emergency management coordinator.

At issue are inconsistencies in the mapping process, according to Hardin, who was not alone in her assessment.

Danville Mayor LeRoy Lippert took issue with a flood plain map that failed to identity three tributaries in his community.

"How can we trust that these maps are accurate? This one isn't," he said.

FEMA Delays Rent for Flood Victims in Temporary Housing
Nearly all the FEMA tenants in Linn County also have case advocates at the Community Recovery Center in northwest Cedar Rapids. Steve Schmitz, the center’s director, said the advocates are frustrated by a lack of detailed information from FEMA on each family’s rental rate.

C.F.s officials plead for patience on flood buyouts
CEDAR FALLS - Those working through flood buyouts at City Hall have a simple message for people growing impatient with the process: be patient.

Barb Hugi, a planning technician with the city, worked through the flood buyout process in the 1990s, when Cedar Falls bought out 165 properties and removed homes from the flood plain. She said the process has gotten more complicated and costly since then. Part of the difficulty is that the Federal Emergency Management Agency demands more documentation, including title certificates for the properties and cancelled checks for every expense paid by the city. She said fraud and abuse during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina led to more regulations.

Mediator to help flood buyouts burdened by debt
CEDAR RAPIDS, Nov 14, 2009 (The Gazette - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The modest circumstances of some flood victims are being driven home by the first wave of buyouts. Perhaps 25 of the first 117 owners whose flooded properties will be bought at pre-flood value will not receive enough money to cover their mortgages or liens. The eye-opening statistic prompted the City Council this week to hire a mediator to help flooded property owners resolve such outstanding debt. Without a resolution between the owners and those they owe, the city would not be able to gain title to the properties.

Rebuild Iowa Office: Working to recover; helping Iowans work through the recovery system
Annie [Young] has worked hard to gain assistance for her clients. One example is a client, who had, prior to the flood, lived in the same home for nearly 40 years and paid taxes, utilities and insurance on the home for the past eight years. It was discovered after the flooding, the deed to the home was never switched into his name after his mother’s death in 2000. This resulted in an award from FEMA for only $5,100.

Annie pursued all avenues with FEMA to obtain the documentation needed to prove her client was, in fact, the homeowner and not a renter. Annie’s persistence paid off. FEMA awarded him an additional $22,000 to cover his destroyed property’s expenses.

Truth is, these reports go on and on. There are billions of dollars funneling into "flood recovery" and from what I hear, very little is going to ordinary citizens. The people who have truly recovered are the ones who have performed the recovery themselves or banded together with private charities to get the job done.

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