Redding Official Seeks Help From FEMA On Sandy Expenses

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FEMA is expected to cover the municipal cost of removing fallen trees in Redding from Oct. 30 to Nov. 14 after Hurricane Sandy. Photo Credit: Ken Liebeskind

REDDING, Conn. – Steve Gniadek, Redding’s finance director, attended a FEMA application briefing meeting Tuesday in Fairfield in preparation to submit Hurricane Sandy expenses that may be repaid up to 100 percent.

“It’s the first step in the process, and we’ll get a FEMA case worker assigned,” Gniadek said.

FEMA will pay 100 percent of Category A and Category B expenditures incurred between Oct. 30 and Nov. 14, said Bob Hockensmith, a FEMA Connecticut disaster spokesman. Those expenditures cover emergency power restoration, debris removal and other emergency protection measures.

Redding experienced no structural damages from the storm, Gniadek said, but will look to be reimbursed for emergency services, including police, fire and EMT overtime and debris removal.

“It’s too early to estimate the costs,” he said. “But as soon as we do, we can send a statement to FEMA. We should have it done by the end of the year, and then it’s up to them.”

Towns must submit requests by Dec. 29 to qualify for 100 percent reimbursements, Hockensmith said. Later submissions will qualify for 75 percent reimbursement from FEMA.

“It’s the same process as the last three storms,” Gniadek said, referring to the snowstorm on Jan. 11, 2011, Hurricane Irene and the October 2011 snowstorm. "The town received FEMA refunds for all three storms. At some point, we’ll get approval at some amount for Hurricane Sandy."

The application briefing meetings held in Connecticut this week will be followed by kick-off briefings within the next two weeks, Hockensmith said.

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