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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 097-99097-00; Sonoma County
PW ID# Project Worksheet 1764; Inflatable Dam
Citation: FEMA-1628-DR-CA, Sonoma County, Inflatable Dam, PW 1764Cross-reference:
As a result of winter storms, flooding damaged the Mirabel River Diversion Structure System (MRDSS), a 140-foot long inflatable rubber dam anchored to a concrete footing. Sonoma County (Applicant) stated that the rubber membrane was pulled loose from the inlet flange due to floodwaters overtopping the dam while it was partially inflated. FEMA stated that the damage occurred because the Applicant had not resolved maintenance problems to ensure full deflation of the dam before the onset of storm events. In its first appeal, the Applicant stated that it had been able to fully deflate the dam prior to previous storms using established procedures of milking remaining air and water contents from the dam. However, water levels during the declared event rose faster than typical storms, which did not permit complete deflation of the dam prior to flooding. The Deputy Regional Administrator denied the appeal, stating that the dam was not operating as it was designed to operate and it took longer to deflate the dam than necessary. The Applicant submitted its second appeal on February 4, 2008, and provided additional information to the State on June 20, 2008. The Applicant requested a version of PW 1764 for $516,258, to fund repair of the MRDSS.Issues:
1. Has the Applicant demonstrated that damage was a direct result of the disaster?
2. Was the damage caused by negligence on the part of the Applicant?Findings:
1. Yes. Although maintenance problems hindered rapid deflation of the dam, the Applicant demonstrated that damage was a direct result of the disaster.
2. No. The Applicant took prudent measures and followed established procedures to protect the facility from disaster-related damage.Rationale:
44 Code of Federal Regulations §206.223(a)(1) and §206.223(e)