Local and state officials said Wednesday they’re assessing their next step after the Federal Emergency Management Agency refused to authorize disaster aid to repair or replace schools, water pipes, and other public infrastructure in the city of West, heavily damaged in a fertilizer plant explosion two months ago.
In a June 10 letter to Gov. Rick Perry, the federal agency said it found that the reconstruction “is within the capabilities of the state and local governments” and that FEMA had denied the state’s request for a major disaster declaration. Such a declaration from the President clears the way for federal grants to rebuild public infrastructure. The governor’s office is appealing that decision.
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Coming Sunday: Two months after the fertilizer plant explosion in West, residents near the blast zone are bulldozing houses, dealing with insurance, finding new homes – all while holding down full time jobs. But the long hours and lack of sleep haven’t cut into their optimism. They are ready to move on.