FEMA rejects Indiana’s appeal of tornado aid request

Indiana may seek low-interest federal loans for six counties hit by tornadoes and other severe November weather now that federal officials have rejected the state's disaster aid request.

The state's Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had denied Indiana's appeal seeking federal aid for Boone, Daviess, Fountain, Grant, Howard and Tippecanoe counties.

Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson said the state is "very disappointed" by that decision. He said the state cannot appeal FEMA's aid request rejection a second time.

But Erickson said the state is investigating the possibility of seeking low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration that could provide some help to the storm-tossed counties.

Indiana had sought FEMA aid for the six counties following severe weather that struck Nov. 17.

Indiana had requested federal aid for Howard County on Dec. 4 in the wake of tornadoes and straight-line winds that hit that central Indiana county on Nov. 17 and caused extensive damage in the city of Kokomo.

After FEMA denied that request, state officials appealed that decision in a Dec. 23 filing that added storm damage in Boone, Daviess, Fountain, Grant and Tippecanoe counties to its request.

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