SANTA ROSA (KPIX 5) — Outrage in the North Bay grew Monday after a recent White House request for billions of dollars in disaster relief included no money for Northern California wildfire victims.
The White House has asked Congress for $44 billion in disaster recovery funding, but the folks displaced by the massive Wine Country wildfires stuck living in FEMA trailers wouldn’t see a penny of that.
They are not happy about it, saying that all of this year’s natural disasters were equally catastrophic.
“If you love America and you love your neighbor you should be equally compensated for this, because everyone is suffering right now,” Jason Mitchell, who lost his home to the fire.
Mitchell used to live in Journey’s End Mobile Home Park.
“Everything. We lost every single thing. Everything,” said Mitchell.
He is currently living in a FEMA trailer at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, thanks to emergency funding.
But for now there is no federal money for the larger rebuilding efforts like there is for victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
“It was either forgetfulness or spitefulness. I’m hoping it was just an oversight, but you can’t ignore the political climate right now,” said North Bay Congressman Jared Huffman.
Governor Jerry Brown asked Washington for $7.4 billion in fire relief.
If lawmakers don’t write California wildfires into the bill, the state and local governments will be the ones footing it.
That means ultimately the California taxpayer could feel the effects.
“We can’t afford that. This is the worst fire disaster in American history,” said Huffman.
When asked what his message to law makers in Washington DC would be, Mitchell simply said, “Open your eyes. Open your hearts. That’s it.”