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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 201-00000; Robertson County
DSR ID# 63883; Hieatt Bottom Road
Citation: FEMA-1163-DR-KY; Robertson County; DSR 63883 - Hieatt Bottom Road
Cross Reference: Eligible facility, natural features, emergency versus permanent repair
Summary: Robertson County is requesting funding for stabilization of an undeveloped hillside, located upslope of Hieatt Bottom Road, within which several landslides occurred during the March 1997 storms. Slide debris deposited on the roadway resulted in about 500 linear feet of roadway becoming impassible. Damage to the roadway was limited to clogging of the drainage ditch and disturbance to the roadway aggregate surface. The applicant proposed a method for restoring the failed slope, but suggested that the disaster related damage was so extensive that it would be less costly to relocate the road upslope of its present location. The Regional Director determined that permanent stabilization of the hillside was ineligible based on evidence that the hillside was unstable prior to the disaster. DSR 63883 was prepared as Category C, limiting eligible work to clearing of the debris from the roadway and drainage ditch, and replacing the disturbed surface aggregate. The applicant submitted a first appeal of this determination asserting that no significant disturbance of the hillside has occurred in the 100 years or more that the road has been in place, however, the Regional Director upheld the determination of ineligibility for slope restoration. The applicant's second appeal provided further documentation to support that the hillside previously showed no significant signs of instability, and stressed the importance of providing access to adjacent private properties. The applicant indicated that the disaster related condition of the hillside continues to pose a threat to the roadway.
Issues: Is the damaged hillside eligible for Public Assistance funding?
Findings: As a natural feature, the hillside is not eligible for permanent restoration. Eligible permanent work is limited to restoration of the roadway itself, which has been adequately provided for in DSR 63883. A limited geotechnical study (Category B) will be funded to determine if the disaster related condition of the hillside poses a threat to the roadway, and if so, to recommend appropriate emergency protective measures. Eligibility of emergency work will be evaluated based on the findings of the geotechnical study.
Rationale: Public Assistance for natural, unimproved hillsides is limited to debris removal activities and emergency protective measures in the event that the disaster related condition of the hillside poses an "immediate threat". Limited geotechnical analyses are eligible to determine if a threat is present and to recommend cost effective emergency protective measures. Permanent stabilization of a natural feature is not eligible. Stafford Act Section 403 and 406, 44 CFR