Albany officials reflect on FEMA relief money - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany officials reflect on FEMA relief money

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Emergency relief is finally on the way to Superstorm Sandy victims more than two months after the hurricane hit.

Friday, Congress approved $9.7 billion to help the national flood insurance program payout sandy claims.

Votes on another $51 billion in aid are scheduled for later this month.

House Speaker John Boeher angered many members of his own party by not bringing the aid up for a vote earlier this week as promised.

He changed his mind after scathing criticism.

Many of you know how important that emergency disaster relief money from the federal government can be.

The city of Albany spent about $80 million of FEMA money after the flood of 1994.

It was used to tear down damaged homes and rebuild schools, roads and even a golf course.

Assistant city manager Wes Smith says FEMA relief money is desperately needed after a disaster, but the process to get it is cumbersome.

"We, in fact, probably spent 2 years after the fact with an internal auditor going through all of the various projects that we've done, trying to prove to them that we've spent the money appropriately. It's a winning situation, but it remains a difficult situation," said Smith.

Smith also said FEMA relief is especially important in small municipalities where local governments can't afford repairs.

 

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