Will FEMA declare our area a disaster after the tornado?
City Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates reports that we have been granted an extension to submit final estimates to FEMA by Dec. 20. “As of November 22nd, our current damage estimate is just over $33 million,” she says. “This number strictly represents uninsured expenses for Dallas and Erath counties due to the tornadoes. Current estimates fall $5.5 million short of the presidential disaster declaration threshold of $38.5 million. We are working to finalize our numbers and are specifically focusing on infrastructure estimates (street lights, school flashers, stop signs, etc.). FEMA has not accepted the soft costs for these items such as engineering work required to install new signals which is what pushed us below the $38.5 million threshold. Based on total loses, both insured and uninsured, City staff believes this will be one of the top 5 costliest tornadoes in the United States since 1994.”
Here’s Dallas Morning News columnist and neighbor Robert Wilonsky’s take: “It might all come down to whether or not the feds will pay to replace a bunch of old traffic signals.”
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