The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Washington to supplement
ABERDEEN, Wash. - The Grays Harbor Public Utility District (PUD) today said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has agreed to reimburse Grays Harbor almost $4 million paid to contractors who restored power and conducted emergency repairs to its electrical infrastructure caused by the destructive December 2, 2007 storm. In addition, the FEMA approval paves the way for the PUD to receive another $639,000 in State emergency funds that were contingent on FEMA’s approval of the District’s appeal, bringing the total to more than $4.4 million dollars.
FEMA initially denied the claim because Grays Harbor did not seek competitive bids or sign contracts before the emergency work began. The District successfully appealed arguing that the ability to anticipate a storm of that magnitude and have competitive bids for unknown levels of emergency work is not feasible as during this time we could not even access many portions of the county. Apparently, FEMA had changed their rules in 2007. The District now has taken steps to ensure future compliance to not face this situation again. In addition, another $1.3 million is still being reviewed as part of the appeal and also could result in additional funds being released.