Head of FEMA resigning, questioned over use of vehicles

WASHINGTON DC- SEPTEMBER 11 FEMA Administrator Brock Long listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in the Oval Office

US Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long has announced his resignation, the latest senior name to leave the Donald Trump administration.

Long's deputy, Peter Gaynor, will be named the acting administrator in his absence. The response to Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico, has been heavily criticized, and Long has said FEMA learned lessons on how to better prepare.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said of Long in a statement, "I appreciate his tireless dedication to FEMA and his commitment to fostering a culture of preparedness across the nation".

FEMA Administrator Brock Long listens as U.S. President Donald Trump holds an Oval Office meeting on preparations for hurricane Florence at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 11, 2018.

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"It has been a great honor to serve our country as FEMA Administrator for the past two years".

Two months after Long took over FEMA in June 2017, Hurricane Harvey dumped a record amount of rainfall in Texas and Hurricane Irma became one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record before slamming into Florida.

Long said FEMA's No. 2 official, Pete Gaynor, would take over on a temporary basis when he departs.

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency resigned Wednesday after a two-year tenure in which he managed the response to historic wildfires and major hurricanes but was dogged by questions over his use of government vehicles. Long almost resigned the week after Hurricane Florence struck the Carolinas last September, but Nielsen convinced him to stay, according to a separate Post report. Long has been under scrutiny by the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general for using the vehicles to travel between Washington and his home in Hickory, N.C., where his wife and children live. Trump must nominate a permanent replacement for Long and that person must be confirmed by the Senate.

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