PA ID# 071-UYCPT-00; Orleans Levee District
PW ID# Project Worksheet 16502; Mandatory Flood Insurance
FEMA-1603-DR-LA, Orleans Levee District, PW 16502
Flooding from Hurricane Katrina damaged nine switchgears at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport. FEMA prepared PW 16502 to refurbish two switchgears of the main distribution vacuum breaker vault in order to get some essential facilities operational on the southern side of the airport. FEMA prepared PW 16597 to replace the nine switchgears. FEMA categorized both PWs as Category F, Permanent Work. Since the switchgears were located in a special flood hazard area, FEMA reduced the funding for each PW pursuant to Section 406 (d) of the Stafford Act.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) on December 13, 2007. The Applicant stated that FEMA incorrectly designated PW 16502 as permanent work because the refurbishment of the switchgears was a temporary repair. The Applicant planned to replace all nine switchgears (PW 16597) because the manufacturer (General Electric) would not provide a warranty on the refurbished equipment. The Applicant also stated that the electric vacuum breaker unit was not a facility and therefore, was not subject to the mandatory NFIP reduction. The Regional Administrator denied the appeal on May 7, 2008, stating that the repairs made to the switchgears were correctly identified as permanent repairs of damaged building contents. Further, the Regional Administrator determined that the electric vacuum breaker unit structure met the definition of a building and was insurable under a standard flood insurance policy.
The Applicant submitted a second appeal on June 24, 2008. In the appeal, the Applicant stated that PW 16502 should have been written as Category B, and therefore, is not subject to a mandatory NFIP reduction. GOHSEP supports the Applicant’s position.
Was the refurbishment of the two switchgears emergency work and therefore, not subject to an NFIP mandatory reduction?