JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Communities starting the long recovery from Hurricane Florence will need to pay close attention to federal deadlines as they document the billions of dollars of damage it caused.
An Associated Press analysis of records from the Federal Emergency Management Agency shows missed deadlines have been one of the most common reasons why FEMA's top officials have denied appeals for public aid.
In the past 12 months alone, the AP identified well over $100 million of lost appeals from cities, schools and other public entities in which FEMA headquarters cited missed deadlines.
FEMA Deputy Director for Public Assistance Tod Wells says the agency has been "increasingly" enforcing deadlines as part of a plan to cut down on a backlog of appeals and provide reliable guidance for disaster aid applicants.