Federal financial assistance not assured for all flooded Ohio residents

Federal financial assistance not assured for all flooded Ohio residents

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says so far, the process is working.

FEMA is assisting Ohio residents whose homes were damaged by the 21 tornados that touched down several weeks ago. Farmers whose fields are underwater because of the rain will also get help.

But when it comes to disaster aid, the federal government’s recent track record is not good.

“Your seeing it in so many ways. Trees coming down. The picture in the paper, the story a couple couldn’t even get into their house because the whole road has been washed away. The driveway was totally washed away. And we’re going to continue to see this,” Ohio Governor Mike DeWine tells 19 News.

Governor DeWine knows residents of Barberton as well those living in 37 Ohio counties are going to need help.

“Well, we got a quick designation from FEMA with the tornados. So, my job is to be an advocate for Ohio to go to the Trump administration and make our case,” the governor says.

But the problem might not be the Trump administration, or even the Republican and Democratic leadership in the House and Senate.

For instance, the White House and Congressional leaders have agreed to an aid package to help residents of Florida’s Panhandle.

But 237 days after Michael, a Category 5 hurricane devastated the area, a $19.1 billion plan still hasn’t been approved because individual members of Congress want to know what programs will be cut to pay for the hurricane relief.

Ohio has issued a state of emergency for 37 counties impacted by the recent flooding. But Governor DeWine, who’s served in both houses of Congress, knows how it works.

“We’re going to try to get any kind of help we can get from the federal government. This is unprecedented, the amount of rain, and it continues. It seems like it’s never going to stop,” says the Governor.

FEMA is assisting local residents, but that help is only as good as the agency’s budget, which is stretched thin by other natural disasters around the country.

Copyright 2019 WOIO. All rights reserved.