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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 045-00E4A-00; Bay St. Louis Waveland School District
PW ID# 9307; Bay High School Gym Canopy
Conclusion: There is no evidence that the damage to the gymnasium canopy that the Applicant claimed was caused by Hurricane Katrina’s high winds was, in fact, caused by the disaster; therefore, the costs of replacing the canopy are not eligible.
Hurricane Katrina’s high winds and storm surge damaged the Bay St. Louis Waveland School District’s (Applicant) high school gym building. FEMA prepared PW 9307 to fund the repair of the damage to the facility, but no specific reference was made to the gymnasium canopy that provides cover to the building’s concrete sidewalk access path. The Applicant requested FEMA to evaluate a bid package for replacement of the gym canopy at an estimated cost of $340,857. FEMA determined that the gym canopy damage did not result from the disaster. In its first appeal, the Applicant asserted that the damage resulted from Hurricane Katrina’s high winds. The Regional Administrator denied the appeal, concluding that the damage was not proven to be disaster-related, as required by 44 C.F.R. §206.223(a)(1), and that the Applicant failed to identify the damage within an extended regulatory timeframe under 44 C.F.R. §206.202(d)(1)(ii). In its second appeal, the Applicant reasserted its first appeal arguments and also stated that the gym canopy was previously determined eligible and referenced in the PW scope of work as an attached spreadsheet. The Applicant also stated that an inspection performed by its consultant prior to and immediately after the event supports its argument that the damage was caused by the event.
- 44 C.F.R. § 206.223
- 44 C.F.R. § 206.202(d)(1)(ii)
- Under 44 C.F.R. § 206.202(d)(1)(ii), a Public Assistance applicant has 60 days following its first substantive meeting with FEMA to identify and to report damage to FEMA.
- FEMA Region IV extended this deadline to November 5, 2009 due to the extraordinary circumstances following Hurricane Katrina; documentation shows that the Applicant first identified the gym canopy damage in June 2006, well in advance of the extended deadline.
- Under 44 C.F.R. § 206.223, to be eligible for Public Assistance, an item of work must be required as the result of the emergency or major disaster event.
- A FEMA technical review found no evidence that the damage to the gym canopy claimed by the Applicant could have been caused by the high winds associated with the event, at least through uplift of facility components or by wind pressure applied to the structure. If winds generated by the event were capable of uplifting the concrete roof panels or deforming the structural steel of the canopy, much more widespread damage and/or displacement would be expected to be found along the canopy and panels themselves. However, FEMA found no displacement of the roof panels during the joint inspection.