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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 081-UQWFC-00; Shirttail Gulch Road District
PW ID# 469; Shirttail Gulch Road Slope Repair
March 25, 2011
South Dakota Department of Public Safety
118 West Capitol Avenue
Pierre, South Dakota 57501
Re: Second Appeal–Shirttail Gulch Road District, PA ID 081-UQWFC-00, Shirttail Gulch Road Slope Repair, FEMA‑1774‑DR‑SD, Project Worksheet (PW) 469
Dear Ms. Turman:
This letter is in response to your letter dated August 9, 2010, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Shirttail Gulch Road District (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) denial of additional funding for repairs to Shirttail Gulch Road and its supporting slope.
Severe storms and flooding from June 2 through June 12, 2008, resulted in a slope failure beneath Shirttail Gulch Road. The slope failure displaced a section of hillside approximately 100 feet wide, 25 to 30 feet deep, and extended down slope along a 250 foot horizontal and 90 foot vertical path. Additionally, a section of paved roadway surface 12 feet wide and 100 feet long was also lost. FEMA prepared PW 469 to stabilize the slope and repair the damage. On November 25, 2008, the Applicant requested a scope of work change to repair damage caused by a second slope failure that was triggered by 5 inches of rain from a November 1, 2008 storm. Following an April 29, 2009, site inspection with the Applicant, FEMA determined that the damage was not a direct result of the declared disaster and denied the Applicant’s request on May 26, 2009. In its first appeal, submitted August 2, 2009, the Applicant claimed that the additional damage was caused by continued movement from the initial event and therefore was a direct result of the declared disaster. The Regional Administrator reaffirmed that the November 2008 slope failure was not a direct result of the declared disaster and denied the appeal on February 5, 2010.
In its second appeal, submitted April 8, 2010, the Applicant maintained that the additional slope failures are a direct result of the declared disaster and that the movement of the soil is a single, continuous event. The Applicant submitted geotechnical reports from CTL Thompson to support its claim. CTL Thompson’s reports include a summary of new soil borings with measurements taken from inclinometers and piezometers in March 2010, a slope stability analysis, and recommendations for repair of the slope and road.
FEMA retained a geotechnical specialist to review the information presented by the Applicant. The geotechnical specialist determined that the measurements taken at the site indicate that the soil at the site appears to be currently moving, but these measurements do not link the movement of the soil to the declared event. CTL Thompson’s March 2010 geotechnical investigation documents current conditions, which include geophysical changes since the initial slope failure and does not directly link the second slope failure to the declared event. Following the initial slope failure and prior to the November 1, 2008 rain and snowfall, the Applicant’s contractor placed rock buttresses and soil anchors which increased the gravitational forces on the slope. The movement of the soil at the site is likely caused by a combination of events that changed the properties of the slope, including the actions taken by the Applicant’s contractor from June 2008 through October 2008.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the new information does not support the Applicant’s claim that the additional slope failure is a direct result of the declared disaster. The Regional Administrator’s decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance regulations and policy. Accordingly, I am denying the second appeal. Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
cc: Robin Finegan
FEMA Region VIII