The floodwaters in Colorado are receding, leaving behind the wreckage of family homes and destroyed businesses. Naturally, the embattled state has turned to the federal government for disaster relief. President Obama declared a state of emergency on Sunday, and was encouraged to do so by the nine-member Colorado Congressional delegation. However, according to ThinkProgress.org, four Colorado Republican representatives who signed the letter to the President, voted against federal relief for the areas devastated by Super Storm Sandy last year, which left many in New York and New Jersey without power for days.
Of course, this isn’t the first time the Colorado Republican delegation has contradicted the position they took for Sandy relief, when in July they sought disaster relief for wildfires that raged in southern Colorado. Many see their position as hypocritical, especially those that remember that the first measure for Sandy relief was denied a vote the House, in part because of the Colorado delegation’s opposition. Almost two weeks later, the bill did pass the House, but for a smaller amount. It certainly did not help matters that the two parties were in a brutal fight over the budget, which led to the eventual sequestration.
Still, FEMA needs all the help they can get. However, they aren’t accepting some of the help they are being offered. In an effort to help change the story about the use of civilian drones, Falcon UAV employees were threatened with arrest if caught flying drones over the flood-damaged areas. Falcon UAV had been volunteering its efforts, and their drones, to help map the affected areas and could do so more efficiently over rough terrain than manned vehicles. Also, many experts are suggesting that floods like these many be the “new normal,” because of climate change, a phenomenon the Colorado Republicans continue to deny.