FEMA Adds $4.2M to Public Assistance Funds Released to Alabama

November 30, 2005

The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved and released an additional $4.2 million in Public Assistance (PA) to Alabama. The grants are the latest reimbursements for costs associated with the response to and recovery from Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina.

At Dauphin Island, Katrina left underwater debris over 6,800 acres, which created navigational hazards and was also a danger to public health and safety. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources was reimbursed $1,477,000 to offset costs for removal of the debris.

The FEMA PA program provided 100 percent reimbursement of costs since the project was completed by Oct. 27, 2005. Normally the federal share of reimbursement to state and local governments and certain private non-profit groups providing public services is 75 percent.

Public Assistance reimbursement for damage by Hurricane Ivan, declared in September of 2004, went to the Alabama Emergency Management Agency for emergency protective measures taken to limit adverse health, safety and economic effects of the storm, including material, labor and other direct costs. The state received more than $1.5 million – 90 percent federal share of project costs.

The Utilities Board of the city of Foley, known as Riviera Utilities, received $1.2 million for damage to its electrical system from Hurricane Ivan. This also represents a 90 percent federal share of costs. The system suffered downed and damaged power lines, broken transmission lines and destroyed transformers. The company serves approximately 34,000 customers.

Under FEMA’s Public Assistance program, state and local governments and certain private non-profits are normally eligible for partial reimbursement for the repair or restoration of public infrastructure, as well as for the cost of debris removal and emergency measures taken in response to a federally-declared disaster.

To be eligible for the grants, the cost to repair a particular site must exceed $1,000 and the work must be required as a result of the disaster and located within the designated disaster area. The repair and restoration must be necessary to protect life and property and is the responsibility of the agency applying for the grant.

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