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Storm damage: Delegation asks hike in fed share of FEMA aid

Alabama’s congressional delegation allied Thursday seeking an increase in the federal cost share for the FEMA Public Assistance program. The letter from the lawmakers is in response to the deadly storms that devastated Alabama communities Jan. 12.

Pursuant to President Biden’s approval of a major disaster declaration for the state, the federal government now covers at least 75% of eligible costs of FEMA public assistance grants for disaster recovery, according to a statement from U.S. Sen. Katie Britt’s office.

Britt, U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville and U.S. Rep. Terry Sewell joined their colleagues in seeking an increase to 100% to cover debris removal and emergency protective measures.

“In the aftermath of the severe weather that devastated our communities on January 12, we have seen the very best of our great state – people have banded together to help their fellow Alabamians recover and rebuild,” said Britt (R-Montgomery). “We are grateful for the incredible first responders, law enforcement officers, and volunteers who continue to devote their time, talent, and resources to these valiant efforts. While we appreciate the swift, collaborative support thus far offered by President Biden and FEMA, the situation on-the-ground makes it clear that additional federal resources are both warranted and needed as the recovery process moves forward.

“My office will continue to be in close contact with local, state, and federal officials to see how we can best support affected families, small businesses, and communities.”

Several towns and cities in Sewell’s district were heavily damaged in the deadly storms.

“While we are immensely grateful for President Biden’s swift approval of a major disaster declaration, additional federal resources are needed to ensure that our communities can fully recover,” said Sewell (D-Birmingham).“So many of our municipalities were still recovering from the financial devastation of Hurricanes Zeta and Sally and the COVID-19 pandemic when the January 12th storms tore through our state.

“I am proud to lead all nine members of the Alabama Delegation in requesting that President Biden increase the federal cost share for FEMA public assistance from 75 percent to 100 percent, and I thank my colleagues for their strong support.”

Tuberville (R-Auburn) urged the administration to act as quickly as possible.

“As officials and volunteers work around the clock to get Alabamians back on their feet following recent devastating storms, there is still a long road to recovery ahead,” he said. “I hope President Biden acts swiftly to provide those impacted by the storms with as much support as possible.”

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