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Thompson To Hold Hearing on FEMA Disaster Response

Thompson To Hold Hearing on FEMA Disaster Response

March 7, 2007 (WASHINGTON) - Nearly two weeks ago, tornados ripped through communities in Arkansas injuring nearly two dozen people and destroying more than 150 homes. Immediately following the storms, Governor Mike Beebe called on the "new and improved" FEMA for assistance. They have yet to show up, citing that the damage or need for assistance in Desha County was not readily apparent.

In light of this and other recent actions relating to disaster declarations and response, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) will hold a hearing on Thursday, March 15th entitled "Disaster Declarations: Where is FEMA in a Time of Need?"

Chairman Thompson issued the following statement regarding the hearing:

"After all of the hearings, reforms, criticisms and lessons that should have been learned by Hurricane Katrina, it appears that FEMA is still struggling. We simply cannot allow communities in need to languish in a time of crisis."

Chairman Thompson has reached out to relevant Arkansas representatives on this matter. In response to the hearing announcement, Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR) said, "I will not allow the people of Dumas, Back Gate, and Desha County to be forgotten, and this is the next step in demanding accountability from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and our federal government. It has been 11 days since these two tornadoes hit Desha County and FEMA has done nothing. This is a symbol of what is wrong with FEMA and why so many people have lost confidence in their government."

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