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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 057-U1ZZV-00; Port of Tillamook Bay
PW ID# Project worksheet 176; Tunnel 32
November 17, 2008
State Coordinating Officer
Oregon Emergency Management
PO Box 14370
Salem, OR 97309-5062
Re: Second AppealPort of Tillamook Bay, PA ID 057-U1ZZV-00, Tunnel 32
FEMA 1672-DR-OR, Project Worksheet (PW) 176
Dear Ms. Kershaw:
This is in response to your letter dated May 6, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Port of Tillamook Bay (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) determination that PW 176 is ineligible. The amount in dispute is approximately $300,000.
Near-record setting rain fell in the City of Tillamook, Oregon from November 5-8, 2006. In late November or early December 2006, the Applicant inspected railroad Tunnel 32 and discovered that a non-load bearing lining consisting of steel sets encased with gunite material located in the center of the tunnel had experienced increased deflection of up to two feet. The Applicant requested $300,000 from FEMA to repair the deflected lining. FEMA prepared PW 176 to document the Applicants request, but determined that the work was not eligible because it was not required as a result of the disaster. The Regional Administrator sustained this determination on first appeal.
The Applicant submitted a second appeal in a letter dated March 7, 2008. It stated that the tunnels structural integrity was sound prior to the disaster. The Applicant submitted a report from Jacobs Associates, an engineering and consulting firm, that stated that the November 2006 storms directly affected the stability of the tunnel and led to the deflection of the lining.
The steel sets lining along the center section of the tunnel did not provide any structural support to the tunnel because there were voids around the top and sides of the tunnel. The lining did not touch the sides and top of the tunnel. It appears that after a fire in the tunnel several decades ago, the primary purpose of the lining was to keep loose material from the ceiling from falling on the tracks. The deflected lining did not significantly affect the use of the tunnel. The Applicant proposed removing the loose material from the top of the lining, filling the void around the sides and top of the tunnel with sand and concrete, and installing approximately 1,600 lineal feet of rock bolts around the lining.
To be eligible for assistance, an item of work must be required as the result of the disaster event (44 CFR §206.223). The bending and rusting of some of the liner plates indicate that loose material fell on the lining in the past and caused gradual deflection of the lining over time. The rain may have caused additional material from the top of the tunnel to fall on the top of the lining causing more deflection. However, the applicant has not submitted any documented evidence or analysis to show that it routinely maintained the tunnel lining or monitored the deflection of the tunnel lining in the past. Although the Applicant observed the deflection in the tunnel lining weeks after the disaster, there is no conclusive evidence that the disaster caused the deflection of the tunnel lining. Accordingly, I am denying the appeal.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206.
Carlos J. Castillo
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: Susan Reinertson
FEMA Region X