FEMA: Lawrence won’t get disaster funds for ice storm

Published 9:59 am Thursday, February 26, 2009

The damage sustained in the recent ice storm was not enough to get Ohio a federal disaster declaration, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Sima S. Merick, grants division chief for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, notified Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Boster that the damage Ohio’s public infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.,) totaled $9,925,733, and that is several thousand dollars short of the $14,872,613 per capita threshold that must be met if a declaration is granted.

“Although the impact to a local entity following a natural disaster may be great, the state and federal government also have to consider the impact to the entire state when evaluating a possible request for federal assistance,” Merick said in her e-mail.

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Locally, Boster said the storm impact in Lawrence County was not as severe as it was in other areas of the state.

Boster said Hamilton Township reported $1,300 in ice storm-related costs. Elizabeth Township’s costs totaled just under $18,000 and Windsor Township racked up just over $14,600.

Local governments were allowed to claim the cost of road treatment (salt, gravel, etc.), overtime for government workers and repairs to damaged infrastructure.

Some local entities, Boster said, did not think they had enough damage to warrant a report.

“They felt what they had was normal and not significant to report as a disaster,” Boster said.

The damage to Lawrence County’s residences and businesses was also not large enough to warrant federal assistance.