- President Donald Trump recently criticized California’s forest management over the fires burning through the state.
- The firefighting community hit back at Trump, commenting that his statements were “wrong” and “reckless.”
- Of the 10 states that receive the most emergency funding, almost all are along the coasts.
President Donald Trump faced heated backlash after tweeting about the California fires currently burning through the Golden State. The president blamed California’s forest management for the Camp Fire in Northern California, the state’s largest and deadliest fire with a death toll of more than 40 people that’s expected to rise. He also threatened to pull funding when the communities facing the fires are in need of help.
There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
The president’s tweet, which also came while the Woolsey Fire burned through Ventura County in Southern California, was heavily criticized by the firefighting community. General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters Harold Schaitberger said Trump’s commentary was “reckless and insulting to the firefighters and people being affected.” California Professional Firefighters President Brian K. Rice called Trump’s assessment “dangerously wrong” and stated that “nearly 60 percent of California forests are under federal management and another one-third under private control.”
Trump later tweeted his praises after being corrected:
The California Fire Fighters, FEMA and First Responders are amazing and very brave. Thank you and God Bless you all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2018
California is one of the top ten states to receive emergency funding. Although there are dozens of factors that go into which states receive the most funding, nearly all of the top 10 states are coastal. According to an August 2018 GOBankingRates study, here are the top 10 states to receive emergency funding in times of disaster within the past five years:
1. New York: $16.06B
Hurricane Sandy in 2012 proved to be one of New York’s most devastating natural disasters, killing 44 people and flooding out entire sections of the city. New York received around $13 billion out of a $50 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package approved by Congress.
2. Louisiana: $5.57B
Hurricane Katrina was one of the deadliest, costliest storms in U.S. history, and no state felt its impact more direly than Louisiana. More than 1,500 people lost their lives directly or indirectly by the 2005 tragedy, and the state received over $18 billion in assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
3. Texas: $3.86B
Hurricane Harvey unleashed 51 inches of rain in parts of Texas, which established a new rainfall record for a single storm. The damage totaled as much as $75 billion, and around 30,000 people were displaced by storm damage. The state received more than $2.6 billion in recovery funds from FEMA.
4. New Jersey: $3.57B
Hurricane Sandy was bad enough for the Atlantic Coast, but it was preceded by another fierce storm: Hurricane Irene. Irene caused between $4 billion and $6 billion in damage to New Jersey when it hit the state in 2011. The state received nearly $182 million for recovery efforts from Irene in 2011, according to FEMA.
5. Florida: $2.61B
Hurricane Matthew managed to decimate Caribbean nations before landing in Florida in 2016. The hurricane caused between $4 billion and $6 billion worth of damage. The state received $180 million in aid for damage done by Hurricane Matthew, but would later suffer more damage from Hurricanes Irma and Nate later in 2017.
6. California: $1.7B
The 2018 California wildfire season is the worst on record due to the fatal impact the Camp Fire has had on Northern California’s communities. The total cost to the state, insurers and homeowners is expected to top $19 billion, according to Bloomberg. California has received at least $212 million in federal funding this year to help with fire recovery.
7. North Carolina: $716M
North Carolina has suffered both hurricanes and wildfires in recent years. The state received more than $113.4 million from FEMA to assist in recovering from September 2018 Hurricane Florence.
8. South Carolina: $555M
Like its northern counterpart, South Carolina’s geography means it’s privy to hurricanes. The state was also affected by Hurricane Florence, with a death count of over 40 and with damages estimated at over $1 billion.
9. Mississippi: $308M
Mississippi is susceptible to everything from tornadoes to flooding to hurricanes. Of its 82 counties, 34 are considered primary natural disaster areas for flooding.
10. Missouri: $208M
The only landlocked state on the list, much of Missouri’s disaster funding is used to recover from tornado damage and flood damage wrought by storms. The costliest tornado in U.S. history occurred in Joplin, Mo., with damages totaling around $2.8 billion and with more than 150 confirmed deaths.
Click through to read more about how much extreme weather costs taxpayers.
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