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FEMA rejects major disaster declaration for Indiana

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 8:13 am

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mike Pence says the federal government has rejected Indiana's request that Howard County be declared a major disaster area because of damage from last month's tornadoes and severe storms.

Pence said Wednesday he has ordered the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to appeal the decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The state on Dec. 4 asked FEMA to approve grants and low-interest loans to help homeowners and business in and around Kokomo recover from the Nov. 17 storm.

The state says 191 homes sustained major damage or were destroyed and nearly 1,000 homes overall were damaged. Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster has placed the preliminarily damage estimate at more than $2.84 million in Howard County aong.

The Indiana congressional delegation had urged FEMA to approve the request.