TRENTON, N.J. - In New Jersey, many people are still dealing with last year’s Hurricane Ida damage. Many are calling for federal funding to help rebuild their lives. Hurricane Ida left many families in a desperate situation when it crashed into the Garden State nine months ago.
"Never did I think it would happen in my home," Shashuna Atwater said. She is one of many who experienced the devastation of Ida. She’s also one of many without flood insurance and has been left without answers.
"I call FEMA. I call them. I’m still waiting for a response, almost a year later. I sent them my application, everything they asked for. No one helped," Atwater remarked.
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In response, local politicians and activists gathered at the steps of the New Jersey state house in Trenton to demand action for families in need.
"They got let down. When they turned to those that they needed the help from, they didn’t get it. Not only did they not get it, they made things worse," N.J. 3rd District Congressman Andy Kim stated.
Kim says FEMA has made things worse by demanding funds already distributed be returned. "The problem is that FEMA thinks the money that is in the pockets of people now belongs to them and that’s just not true."
So, where is the money already set aside for families by the federal government and when will it get into the hands of those in need? That remains unclear.
"FEMA needs to get back here. We can try to get help on a congressional office level, but it shouldn’t have to be case-by-case, because there might be some other people that gave up, because they weren’t hearing back,"