PA ID# 023-91034; Bridgeville Elementary School District
DSR ID# 49289; Repair River Bank Erosion
Citation: FEMA-1044-DR-CA; Bridgeville Elementary School DistrictDSR 49289 - Repair River Bank Erosion
Cross Reference: Bank erosion, Eligible repairs
Summary: As a result of the winter storms of 1995 (FEMA-1044-DR-CA), the banks of the Van Duzen River adjacent to the Bridgeville Elementary School property sustained damage due to erosion. The north end of the east property line of the school (along the river) has a retaining wall that protects approximately 150 feet of the property boundary from erosion. Damages sustained by the retaining wall include erosion of the soft rock at the base of the wall and minor soil erosion on the top of the lower bench of the wall. The riverbank immediately south of the retaining wall (approximately 300 feet long) also sustained damage from the high velocity river flows. Riprap placed at the south end of the wall was lost due to erosion. An existing chain link fence (200 LF) was also damaged. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepared DSR 49289 (Category D) for $486,185. After review, FEMA reduced the amount of eligible funding to zero, stating that there was no facility damage in this disaster and the proposed project seems to only protect and stabilize a "natural" stream bank. The subgrantee's first appeal stated that this project is specifically to protect the existing constructed wall and improved school property. The Regional Director denied the first appeal and stated that the only disaster related damage consisted of damage to 200 LF of fencing and loss of riprap along a 15 LF stretch of stream bank. Supplemental DSR 20332 was prepared and approved for $30,434 to fund the work above. Additional restoration of the stream bank south of the wall was considered ineligible because it is an unimproved "natural" feature. The subgrantee's second appeal noted that the storms caused significant damage to the wall and facilities (improved gravel road and future building site) located south of the wall. The subgrantee modified its original request for $486,185 and requested the approval of DSR 49289 for $299,667.
Issues: 1.) Should FEMA provide funding to protect an existing retaining wall?2.) Are the proposed measures to restore the stream bank south of the wall eligible for funding?
Findings: 1.) Yes. Continued erosion of the stream banks could threaten the integrity of the entire wall and the improved school property adjacent to the stream bank.2.) No. There was no facility damage south of the wall. The proposed scope of work seems to only protect and stabilize a "natural" stream bank.
Rationale: In accordance with Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations 206.221(c), natural features are only considered "facilities" if they are improved and maintained.