Advertisement
Advertisement

FEMA: After upholding his position for two years, Brock Long announced on Wednesday that he will be stepping down as the Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator.

According to the New York Times, Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, Kirstjen Nielsen, discovered that he inappropriately used government vehicles to travel between work and his home in North Carolina where his wife and two children reside. After further investigation in September, more evidence showed Long used the vehicles while he was on family vacation in Hawaii. Nielsen concluded that Long owed an estimated amount of $151,000 for using the vehicles without authorization and for personal use. Eventually, Long admitted he utilized the vehicles, however, he denied being aware of violating FEMA’s policies.

Advertisement

Effects of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria

In 2017, while Long was in administration, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria caused a lot of damages in a short span of time. Harvey struck Texas and Louisiana but Texas experienced the worst flooding and power outages compared to Louisiana. Over 300,000 citizens evacuated before the storm strengthened to a category four with strong winds of 130 mph. There was an estimate of $125,000 in damages and close to 70 residents dead.

Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico that same year, as a category four with powerful winds of 155 mph. The whole island experienced the largest blackout in US history. Puerto Rico’s case was worse than Texas because the length of time it took for the island to recover from the loss of electricity, homes, and extreme flooding. The damage from Maria totaled up to $300 billion and the death toll was close to 3,000.

Advertisement

Long’s poor choices

Many colleagues of FEMA are upset because Long was using American taxpayers money for pleasure while citizens were suffering in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands for long periods in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Puerto Rico didn't receive help from FEMA for a very long time. There was an extensive delay and many people began to criticize Long after evidence was released of his expenses during that time. The island is still recovering from the storm’s damage today.

Long has announced that he’s resigning due to family matters. He confirmed that Peter Gaynor, the deputy administrator, would take over his position. The Wall Street Journal reported he wasn’t supposed to resign until March but he surprised his colleagues when he emailed his letter of resignation on Wednesday.

Advertisement