County may see FEMA funds for roads

Published 10:05 pm Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pike County is eligible for federal help after suffering from an onslaught of severe storms and flooding in mid-December.

“Most of our damage is on unpaved roads,” said County Engineer Russell Oliver.

The Pike County Road Department stands to receive reimbursement for funds spent on debris removal and other damage associated with last months downpours.

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The grant is available as a result of a declaration of disaster signed by President Barack Obama on December 31, which proclaimed Pike County among several areas in Alabama eligible for support under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance Program.

Diana Gee, a public affairs spokesperson for FEMA said that a kickoff meeting between federal, state and local officials was held Tuesday. According to FEMA, kickoff meetings are conducted in order to discuss damages, assess needs and implement a plan of action.

“They just started gathering information for the projects and for the reimbursement process,” Gee said.

The combined team will now work together to decide how much aid the county will be eligible to receive.

“We’re still doing preliminary work,” Oliver said. “We’re still finding a little bit of damage so we’re not yet sure of a final number.”

When a full damage assessment has been made, the Public Assistance Program will reimburse 75 percent of eligible costs according to a FEMA press release.

Gee said that the state covers an additional 10 percent, leaving the remaining 15 percent of costs to local entities.