Conclusion: The Village of Waterford (Applicant) did not provide sufficient documentation to demonstrate that Hurricane Irene, not pre-existing damage, was the cause of damage to several of its streets.
Hurricane Irene caused the Applicant’s streets to become inundated with flood water. The Applicant asserted that the inundation of flood waters, along with the use of heavy vehicles and equipment during cleanup activities, caused major damage to the pavement and sub-base of several of its streets. FEMA determined that the damage to the impacted streets was due to deferred maintenance, not Hurricane Irene, and found the repair work ineligible. In the first appeal, the Applicant disputed FEMA’s determination that the majority of damage to the roads was caused by the lack of maintenance and pre-existing condition of the roads, not Hurricane Irene. The Applicant asserted that Hurricane Irene severely undermined the subsurface of the roadways. The Region II Acting Regional Administrator (RA) denied the first appeal, determining that the Applicant’s documentation regarding the condition of the sub-base, a letter from its excavation and paving contractor, was insufficient in demonstrating that the sub-base of the roadway system was compromised as a result of Hurricane Irene, nor did it refute FEMA’s initial determination that the damage may have been a pre-existing condition. In the second appeal, the Applicant, again, asserts that the damage to its streets was the result of Hurricane Irene, not deferred maintenance.
Authorities and Second Appeals
• 44 C.F.R. § 206.223(a)(1)
• PA Guide, at 33
• Pursuant to 44 C.F.R. § 206.223(a)(1), “to be eligible for financial assistance, an item of work must be required as the result of an emergency or major disaster event.”
• According to the PA Guide, FEMA staff should review pre-disaster maintenance or inspection reports to verify pre-disaster condition and to assess eligible disaster damage for facilities that require routine maintenance to maintain their designed function.
o FEMA staff determined that the damage to the Applicant’s roads was the result of deferred maintenance based on visual observation, resident interviews, public records, the lack of maintenance records, and satellite images.
o The Applicant failed to demonstrate, through maintenance records or other documentation, its network of roads was damaged as the result of Hurricane Irene.