Disaster funds get OKNobles County to receive FEMA financial assistance
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — It didn’t take long for officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine that damages caused by early June rains in Nobles County were significant enough to warrant federal financial assistance.
On Monday, representatives from FEMA will meet with officials from the 14 townships and two communities that reported damages as a result of flooding between June 7 and June 12. Most of the damage reported was to township gravel roads.
“They realized right off the bat there was enough damage to the gravel roads to qualify,” said Nobles County Emergency Management director Dan Anderson.
Two survey teams from FEMA visited the county on July 11 — one group looking at damage in the eastern half of the county, and the other in the western half.
“Certainly, the west side (survey group) took the gravel road damage claims at face value,” Anderson said, adding that township officials met with the survey crews to explain the damages and the repair work that has since been done.
In addition to surveying the roads, Anderson said the FEMA groups were particularly interested in structural damage to bridge and boxed culverts. They looked at nearly a handful of the structures in three different townships.
Prior to FEMA’s visit, Anderson collected damage estimates from the townships and cities totaling $275,709.54. Following FEMA’s survey, the estimate was lowered to $146,517, which is still more than double what was needed to meet the threshold and qualify for federal assistance.
“FEMA has more experience, and they didn’t see some of the damage as it was claimed,” Anderson said. “We only ask for these (declarations) once every blue moon.”
The county is not claiming any damages from the storm, he added.
Monday’s meeting, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Farmer’s Room of the Nobles County Government Center in Worthington, is open to all township and city officials that presented initial claims. Anderson said FEMA will work with each township and city individually to get reimbursed for damages.
“None of the money will pass through the county. It goes directly from FEMA to the townships and the cities,” Anderson said.