FEMA denies disaster declaration for October tornadoes in Dallas

Federal officials have rejected the disaster declaration for the Dallas area submitted for last October’s destructive tornadoes.

In a letter released on Tuesday, the head of FEMA said the damage didn’t meet the criteria for a major disaster and the request had been denied. The decision will cost the region millions of dollars of relief aid.

“It has been determined that the damage from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments,” FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor wrote to Gov. Greg Abbott.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he will work with Abbott and others to appeal the decision. Officials have 30 days to work and submit appeal paperwork. Abbott’s spokesman said they would assist on the appeal efforts.

The state estimated there was about $190 million worth of damage from the tornadoes. FEMA said the Dallas area needed to show $38.5 million worth of damage, but it failed to do so.