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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 015-99015-00; Cowlitz County
PW ID# 1742; Mahaffey Road Damage and Slides
Citation: FEMA-1817-DR-WA, Cowlitz County, Mahaffey Road Damage and Slides, Project Worksheet (PW) 1742
Reference: Pre-Disaster Condition, Landslide, Roads
Summary: Heavy rains in January 2009 resulted in the failure of a portion of Mahaffey Road roughly 30 feet in length and 6 feet in width. FEMA approved PW 1742 in the amount of $1,640 to repair the embankment and roadway surface damage. FEMA specifically excluded funds for site stabilization based on the determination that the slope was unstable and that there was evidence of pre-existing instability at the site. The Applicant submitted its first appeal on November 16, 2009, requesting reconsideration of funding for site stabilization. The Applicant contended that the site was stable prior to the event. FEMA Region X denied the first appeal based on geotechnical reports prepared by the Applicant’s consultant and FEMA’s geotechnical consultant both presenting data which supported evidence of prior site movement. The Applicant submitted a second appeal on November 23, 2010, requesting FEMA reconsider eligibility of funding for site stabilization activities in the amount of $317,300. The Applicant is claiming that the January 2009 storms caused the current slope movement and was not due to a pre-existing condition. A review of the second appeal documentation finds evidence of previous site instability, including in information for prior FEMA funding at the same location (FEMA 1079-DR-WA, Damage Survey Report (DSR) 49152) and in current geotechnical data provided by the Applicant. In conclusion, the second appeal does not contain any additional or compelling information to substantiate the Applicant’s position or provide evidence that the site was not previously unstable.
Issue: Was slope instability at the Mahaffey Road site caused by the declared event and eligible for funding?
Finding: No. There is evidence of prior site instability through both prior FEMA funding information at the same location and geotechnical information.
Rationale: Section 406 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act; Recovery Policy RP9524.2, Landslides and Slope Failures; Public Assistance Guide, FEMA 322, June 2007