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FEMA says no to flooded Kokomo-area counties

– Property owners in three Indiana counties most affected by last month’s flooding will get some relief thanks to corporate donors and a state relief fund, but they won’t see any help from the Federal Emergency Management Association.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson said Thursday that the damage in Tipton, Howard and Grant counties wasn’t enough to warrant a federal disaster declaration.

“We were the hardest-hit county,” Howard County Emergency Management Agency Director Larry Smith said. “The numbers from the other counties were not sufficient to qualify for FEMA assistance.”

Gov. Mike Pence this week asked the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide low-interest disaster loans for flood victims.

Chrysler and Duke Energy also have made donations to help victims. The Kokomo Tribune reported Thursday that the automaker presented two checks totaling $50,000 to the United Way of Howard County and the Tipton County Foundation. The donation came a day after a $10,000 donation by Duke Energy.

Tipton Mayor Don Havens said local governments may still be eligible for FEMA help with cleanup costs. Individuals may also qualify for up to $5,000 from the Indiana Disaster Relief Fund.

Kokomo qualified as a federal disaster area in 2003, and FEMA received 2,035 applications for individual assistance from Howard County residents.

Not all of those applications were accepted.