FEMA takes 2nd look at Kokomo tornado damage

KOKOMO, Ind. - Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are on the ground in Howard County this week after Indiana Homeland Security asked them to take another, closer, look at the tornado damage there.

Last week, FEMA rejected the governor’s first request for federal financial assistance. But they could get a different take the second time around.

It’s been a month now since a pair of tornadoes came through and devastated neighborhoods in Kokomo. The cyclones damaged close to 1,000 homes and businesses.

Monday, officials were still fighting for the financial assistance they say is needed.

"At that time, it was determined that the damages were not beyond the capability of the state and local governments to respond and recover on their own,” FEMA spokeswoman Sandy Jasmund said.

Since last week’s denial, local and state agencies have pleaded with homeowners to report any damage, knowing it could help in their quest for federal aid. Officials said they’re trying to uncover unreported damage anywhere they can.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight hopes this reassessment will change FEMA's mind, but even if it doesn't, the work to rebuild will continue.

"Waiting around for help from the state or from the federal government usually is not productive,” Goodnight said. “We have things we have to do here in our community and put or city back together."

FEMA officials said their re-assessment of Howard County damage will take several more days. 

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