Gov. Edwards plans to submit FEMA appeal for tornado assistance Thursday

Gov. Edwards plans to submit FEMA appeal for tornado assistance Thursday

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards will submit an appeal Thursday regarding FEMA's decision not to declare areas hard hit by February's tornadoes major disaster areas, according to the Governor's Office.

The state had up to 30 days to appeal after the state's request was denied by the federal government on Saturday, March 26.

Soon after the request was denied, the Governor's Office said they were working on the appeal.

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) had sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting a federal disaster declaration for the parishes that were affected by tornadoes, storms and straight line winds on February 23. However, GOHSEP's Deputy Director Mark Riley said despite the level of damage, nationally, the number of structures damaged or destroyed is considered marginal.

Instead of asking for a disaster declaration just for Assumption Parish, which was hit by an EF3 tornado, the parish grouped together with Iberville, Livingston, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes. That brought the total number of homes and businesses up to 179 that were damaged or destroyed. Officials had hoped it would increase the chances for a federal declaration.

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