By Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top of the U.S. Federal Emergency Administration Company, Brock Lengthy, mentioned he would resign on Wednesday, after overseeing the federal government’s response to a string of record-breaking hurricanes, wildfires and different pure disasters.
Lengthy was extensively praised for his tenure at a time when america confronted its most devastating stretch of pure disasters since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
However his status took successful final fall when the Division of Homeland Safety decided he had inappropriately used authorities automobiles to commute between Washington and his dwelling in North Carolina.
Two months after Lengthy took over FEMA in June 2017, Hurricane Harvey dumped a report quantity of rainfall in Texas and Hurricane Irma turned one of many strongest Atlantic hurricanes on report earlier than slamming into Florida.
Hurricane Maria killed almost 3,000 individuals in Puerto Rico and left the island’s 3.7 million residents with out electrical energy. FEMA confronted steep logistical hurdles because it delivered meals and water from the mainland United States, however critics mentioned it ought to have had extra provides already in place.
In December of that 12 months, California recorded its largest wildfire ever.
The autumn of 2018 introduced one other spate of devastating wildfires in California, together with main hurricanes within the Florida Panhandle and North and South Carolina.
FEMA responded to greater than 220 declared disasters throughout Lengthy’s tenure, he mentioned in an announcement.
Lengthy is certainly one of a number of Trump administration officers to face scrutiny over his use of presidency assets.
His job was difficult by President Donald Trump, who feuded with Puerto Rican leaders after Hurricane Maria and threatened to chop off catastrophe help to California.
Most just lately, Trump has weighed seizing catastrophe restoration funds earmarked for Puerto Rico to assist pay for his signature wall alongside the U.S.-Mexico border.
Lengthy mentioned FEMA’s No. 2 official, Pete Gaynor, would take over on a brief foundation when he departs.
(Reporting by Andy Sullivan; modifying by Jonathan Oatis)