BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - FEMA has denied the appeal filed by Gov. John Bel Edwards for federal assistance related to the February tornadoes that ripped through parts of south Louisiana.
Assumption Parish was hit by an EF3 tornado on Feb. 23, 2016.
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"After a thorough review of all the information contained in your initial request and appeal, we reaffirm our original findings that the impact from this event is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration," the letter read in part.
Officials had hoped to increase the chances for a federal declaration by grouping together Assumption, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes. A total of 179 homes and businesses in those areas were damaged or destroyed.
"We wanted to make every effort to get federal assistance for those impacted by this event," Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a written release. "We felt the scope of their damage and recovery also overwhelmed the capacity of State and local resources. Unfortunately, FEMA did not agree with our assessment. Additionally, we felt a major disaster was necessary because of two other recent emergencies and to help us prepare for the start of the 2016 hurricane season."
Louisiana's first request was denied on March 26. The appeal was denied Friday.
According to the release, Edwards will request the Small Business Administration (SBA) issue an administrative declaration to provide that agency's support to homeowners and businesses in the parishes affected by the storms.