Tags: Hurricane Harvey | Hurricane Irma | FEMA | Florida | Texas | Harvey | Irma

Residents in Texas, Florida Still Waiting for FEMA Response

Residents in Texas, Florida Still Waiting for FEMA Response
Texas slowly moves toward recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
 

By    |   Sunday, 22 October 2017 05:41 PM

Florida and Texas residents affected by hurricanes in the last two months told the New York Times that FEMA'S response has been less than adequate despite President Donald Trump touting the government's relief efforts an "A-plus."

"It's very frustrating," said Rachel Roberts, a Houston resident who said she has been waiting three weeks for someone from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send someone to look at her home. "I think it's beautiful how much we've all come together, and that;s wonderful, but I think there's a lot of mess-ups, too."

The Times interviewed at least a dozen storm victims and found similar responses. Many people in Florida are still waiting for Irma insurance claims to be processed and many in both states who have been approved for assistance are still waiting for FEMA payments. FEMA's help line, 1-800-621-FEMA, is cumbersome to deal with, with some people reporting wait times of two, three or four hours.

"You feel abandoned," Brian Smith, a Houston homeowner, told the Times. "You feel like it came and went, and everybody's focused on the storm in Florida and now in Puerto Rico."

Smith said he and his wife, Monica, have received more aid from their church, relatives and neighbors. FEMA gave them $500 for immediate needs, but they didn’t receive that money for three weeks.

FEMA, according to the Times, does not have enough inspectors to check out damaged properties, adding to the backlog. The average wait in Texas is 45 days, and about a month in Florida.

"Resources are stretched, particularly when it comes to inspections," said FEMA administrator Brock Long. "Obviously it's frustrating."

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Florida and Texas residents affected by hurricanes in the last two months told the New York Times that FEMA'S response has been less than adequate despite President Donald Trump touting the government's relief efforts an "A-plus."
FEMA, Florida, Texas, Harvey, Irma, Trump
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2017-41-22
Sunday, 22 October 2017 05:41 PM
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