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FEMA cancels two meetings

By By JULIE RUSSELL-The Brewton Standard
Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have canceled the meetings that were supposed to be held June 28 and 29.
The "town hall" meetings were to be held at the Little Escambia Baptist Church in Flomaton. The meetings were organized to aid local officials in the development of a long-term recovery plan.
Gov. Bob Riley requested the assistance shortly after Hurricane Ivan hit the area and surrounding municipalities last September.
The meeting was canceled because public officials in Escambia and Baldwin counties failed to complete surveys, which were needed in order to help FEMA officials determine what they could do to help the affected area.
However, according to County Commission Chairman Larry White, local officials "were not aware that the surveys were a prerequisite to the holding of the workshop."
White did say, however, that the meetings would be rescheduled after FEMA receives the questionnaires, and he hopes that the meetings will be rescheduled for some time after the Labor Day holidays.
The surveys were an important step in obtaining data and would ultimately determine what type of team FEMA officials would bring to the meeting, regarding special criteria for the county.
The meeting would have helped county officials address many concerns they had.
Among the many concerns cited in early-June was the traffic bottleneck that typically occurs in Brewton when there is an evacuation in effect.
Officials were hoping that FEMA would address the thoroughfares, which is a big priority for the future mitigation and improvement plans.