FEMA says no to Genesee County for federal disaster relief

FEMA has denied federal disaster relief to Genesee County.

In a letter to Governor Rick Snyder, FEMA has denied federal disaster relief for Genesee County in the wake of May's flooding.

The letter states:

"Based on our review of all the information available, it has been determined that the damage to dwellings from this event was not such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments, and voluntary agencies. Accordingly, we have determined that supplemental federal assistance is not necessary. Therefore, I must inform you that your request for a major disaster declaration is denied."

The letter was written by W. Craig Fugate, the Administrator of FEMA and was addressed to Governor Rick Snyder. It was received on June 8th but was not forwarded to media outlets until today.

Flood victims we spoke with couldn't believe it. "39 inches of water is enough to drown or kill someone why isn't it enough to help us," said Tiffany Jacobi of Flint Township. Her aunt, Ruby Walling, who lives in the same apartment complex, said "my heart just sank, I thought here's our little city of Flint I guess we're just nobody...but it was a disaster."

NBC25 spoke with Sherriff Robert Pickell who is responsible for any appeals of the decision. He says he would like to appeal but plans to talk to state officials first. He has 30 days to appeal. He says he's disappointed in the decision.

"I was hoping we had enough merit in our case to move it forward and get funding," said Pickell. He says hope is not lost and urges citizens to become involved by contacting their US representatives and senators and urging them to advocate for Genesee County.