West, TX — State leaders have spoken out against FEMA's decision not to give aid to the city of West and its public school system.
Mayor Tommy Muska and Superintendent Marty Crawford are now reorganizing in another attempt find money to rebuild a town that wants to get back to the way things were.
Eight days after the April 17th fertilizer blast killed 15 people in West, President Barack Obama assured the community that the federal government would do everything possible to help.
“We may not all live here in Texas but we are neighbors too,” said President Obama to a packed crowd at the Ferrell Center.
“Even after the cameras leave, and after attention has turned elsewhere, your country will remain ever ready to help you recover and rebuild and reclaim your community,” said Obama.
But just yesterday, word spread that FEMA will not help the city government or West ISD, even though the agency will still continue to aid individuals.
“I was disappointed when I found out.”said Muska, who applied for $17,000,000 on the behalf of the city.
“Broken pipes in the ground are not covered by insurance,” said Muska. “If FEMA thinks they are, they’re not. People are rebuilding their houses. They need to have water and sewer pipes that work “
Volunteers started demolishing what was once the West Rest Haven nursing home on Thursday.
The explosion caused an estimated $230,000,000 in total damages. The school district suffered the bulk of that with nearly $57,000,000 in damages.
The decision has many West residents, including the mayor, wandering, ‘If this isn’t a disaster, than what is?”
“I can look out my back yard and see the devastation,” said Muska. “I know what a disaster looks like. Obviously FEMA has a different definition, or Washington has a different definition. That’s a definition I think the city of West and the residents of this town deserve to know. What is the definition of a 'disaster 'in Washington.”
Both the city and the school district plan to reapply.
Muska also stated the possibilty of the Army Corps of Engineers to come help out.