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Lee County awarded over $4 million by FEMA for Hurricane Irma expenses

By Staff | Jul 31, 2019

ORLANDO, FL FEMA has approved $4,015,575 for the State of Florida to help Lee County defray the costs of debris removal for Hurricane Irma under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program.

FEMA funds will reimburse the county for the collection, reduction, disposal and site management of debris within Lake County between Dec. 17, 2017, and March 3, 2018, following the September 2017 storm. During that time period, a contractor for the county gathered, hauled away and disposed of 245,886 cubic yards of vegetative debris and 181 cubic yards of construction/demolition debris from public rights of way and property. The county also removed 133 damaged trees, 757 tree limbs and 18 stumps that were identified as a potential threat to public safety.

Funding for this Public Assistance project is authorized under Sections 403 of the Robert T. Stafford Act for Florida to cover Hurricane Irma-related expenses, reimbursing eligible applicants for the cost of debris removal; life-saving emergency protective measures; and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged facilities like buildings, roads and utilities.

FEMA’s Public Assistance grant program is an essential source of funding for communities recovering from a federally declared disaster or emergency. The Florida Division of Emergency Management works with FEMA during all phases of the PA program and conducts final reviews of FEMA-approved projects.

Applicants work directly with FEMA to develop project worksheets and scopes of work. Following approvals by FEMA and the Florida Division of Emergency Management, FEMA obligates funding for the project.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants to state, tribal and local governments, and certain types of private non-profit organizations including some houses of worship, so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies.

The federal share for Public Assistance projects is not less than 75 percent of the eligible cost. The state determines how the non-federal share of the cost of a project (up to 25 percent) is split with the sub-recipients like local and county governments.