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Louisville Wins Appeal of Disaster Claim from 2009 Ice Storm

Thursday September 2, 2010

City will receive additional $3.2 million

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has agreed to reimburse the City of Louisville for more than $3.2 million in previously rejected costs related to the massive debris-clearing effort following the devastating ice storm of January 2009.

FEMA rejected part of the city’s initial claim, which was filed in 2009, largely because debris removal costs in Louisville were higher than other communities throughout Kentucky that suffered damage from the ice storm.

In the appeal filed in February 2010, the City of Louisville showed that Louisville’s higher costs for the contracted labor to remove the debris were justifiable because of higher average wage rates in urban areas and a local ban on burning debris meant higher disposal costs.

FEMA officials sent a letter to the Kentucky Emergency Management Agency today approving $3,233,908.15 in previously rejected costs. About $700,000 in previously rejected claims may be approved once the city provides additional documents to FEMA.

The city plans to continue to work with KEMA and FEMA to close the books on claims related to the ice storm and two other FEMA-declared disasters, the windstorm of September 2008 and the flash flood on August 2009, said Doug Hamilton, director of the Louisville Metro Emergency Management Agency.