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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 035-99035-00; Forrest County
DSR ID# XXXX; Removal of Dead Trees
FEMA-1604-DR-MS, Forrest County, Debris Removal and Emergency Protective MeasuresCross-reference:
Debris Removal, Emergency Protective MeasuresSummary:
Salt water storm surge from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 inundated many standing trees making them vulnerable to toppling. FEMA approved funding for the removal of standing dead trees from public and private property in several counties. However, FEMA denied Forrest Countys (Applicant) request, as well as several other counties, for funding to remove and dispose of the trees because the Applicant failed to demonstrate that the trees posed an immediate threat to lives, homes and other property.
In its first appeal, the Applicant provided a Standing Dead Tree Assessment, showing the type of tree (pine or other), estimated numbers, and relative location (private or public property). The Regional Administrator denied the first appeal because the Applicant did not adhere to the appeal procedures prescribed in 44 CFR §206.206. In addition, the Applicant did not provide documentation demonstrating that the standing dead trees constituted an immediate threat to the public health and safety, or improved property and therefore, the Applicant lacked sufficient justification for a time extension to complete debris removal and emergency protective measures more than two years after the declared event.
In its second appeal, the Applicant requests that FEMA evaluate the appeal on merit rather than a procedural issue. Based upon the Standing Dead Tree Assessment provided in its first appeal, the Applicant maintains that the standing dead trees pose a threat to motorists beneath them and threaten to block evacuation routes. The Applicant asserts that the same threat exists in Forrest County as in the other counties where FEMA approved funding for the removal of standing dead trees. Finally, the Applicant claims that the standing dead trees represent a latent impact of the disaster not identifiable in the immediate aftermath of the disaster that justifies the need for a time extension.Issues:
Is the removal and disposal of standing dead trees in Forrest County eligible for reimbursement?Findings:
44 CFR §206.224; 44 CFR §206.206