BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A Boulder man has been living in his home with no heat and no roof and wants to know why he’s been denied help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
On Wednesday FEMA announced it has given out $53 million in individual grants, but not everyone who applies gets them.
“A lot of this stuff in here that you’re going to see has been piled up,” FEMA grant applicant Joe Klassen said as he showed CBS4’s Rick Sallinger his belongings. “We’ve moved some of this stuff two or three times already.”
Klassen’s roof is covered in four tarps provided by FEMA. Inside the damage is more obvious. The furnace doesn’t work and he plans to use donated bubble wrap to put over the windows for the winter. His request for assistance from a FEMA grant had been turned down after a visit from a FEMA inspector.
“All I’m asking from FEMA is to acknowledge that in fact my damage was as a result of the storm,” Klassen said.
On the next block his neighbor, Randy Siebert, had a similar story, but he was given $1,700 from FEMA due to storm damage.
“I wanted to get my ceiling fixed and my roof leak sealed,” Siebert said.
After visiting with congressional aids, the governor’s office and other officials, Klassen says a Boulder disaster center directed him to a regional office. There he was told he went to the wrong place but they granted him a meeting.
“Generally speaking, FEMA programs and FEMA grant money will be paid to those who had damage specifically related to the recent flooding,” FEMA spokesman John Mills said.
The inspector had noted remodeling work was being done at Klassen’s home. Klassen takes issue with that.
“Did this damage come from the storm? Oh no, I deliberately came in here and made my house look like this so I would have to live like this,” he said. “It just doesn’t make any sense.”
Klassen said he was told he can appeal the decision, which he has done before. Another option is to dial 211 and ask if there is any volunteer assistance still available.
Colorado Floods: How To Help
The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods
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