East Windsor family being forced to pay FEMA back for aid - WFSB 3 Connecticut

East Windsor family being forced to pay FEMA back for Irene damage aid


This week we marked the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Irene, but one family in East Windsor who was flooded out of their home says they are still feeling the aftereffects.

After Irene hit, Water Street along the Connecticut River in East Windsor became part of the Connecticut River in some spots including close to the home of the MacFarlands.

"Remembering water lines in the trees, everything underwater, the backyard looked like a desert all cracked, said Amanda McFarland.

McFarland said they lost almost everything in their basement. Their flood insurance paid for a lot of it but not everything.

"I lost it a little trying to make everything fine, but for it to come back two years ago, it's not fun," McFarland said.

That's because after receiving two, what they thought were grants, from FEMA, the McFarlands used the $6,000 to pay for temporary housing, make repairs to their home and pay back their friends and family.

After getting back on their feet, a few months ago they got a letter from FEMA saying they'd given the family too much money. The letter stated for them "return" a third of the money, which was $2,000.

"I feel they shouldn't have to pay it back, they gave it to us for help," McFarland said. "I feel it's mean."

The McFarlands sent a 21-page appeal and four months later, it was denied.

After doing some research, the family learned special provisions were made for Hurricane Katrina victims. They want to know why Sandy victims aren't getting the same treatment.

"Happened to Katrina victims, but they weren't asked to give the money back because it's ridiculous to give money back to help people in disaster," McFarland said.

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