$1 million slated for disaster relief locally

Mudflows, storm damage make area eligible for federal funds.

May 20, 2010|By Veronica Rocha

More than $1 million will be distributed to La Cañada Flintridge and La Crescenta for repairs related to recent debris flows and winter storms, federal officials said.

The projects in La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta and Glendale — made up mostly of debris removal, mud cleanup and repairs — make up a list of 350 similar tasks that federal and state emergency officials identified as requiring disaster relief funding due to storm damage in January and February.

In La Cañada, where most of the most significant mud damage occurred off hillsides left barren by the Station fire, officials have been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine which projects will be eligible for federal funding, said Edward G. Hitti, the city’s public works director.


Local officials are angling for disaster relief funds to help pay for debris removal, street improvement repairs, mud cleanup and K-rail construction projects, he said.

The costs of the projects have not been determined, pending receipts from contractors, he said.

“However, the cost is projected to be in the excess of $1 million,” Hitti said.

The Crescenta Valley Water District is also due to receive funding for clean up efforts, damaged road access and storm drain restoration, said Dennis Erdman, the district’s general manager.

The district requested about $250,000, he said.

“We are happy for any assistance they are able to supply,” Erdman said.

Public works-related repair projects in Glendale would center mostly on debris removal, Public Works Director Steve Zurn said.

Parks and utility officials would also submit funding requests, as would the police and fire departments for labor, especially during evacuations.

All told, damage and repairs from California’s mudslides and winter storms are projected to cost about $45 million, said FEMA spokesman James Shebl. Roughly $34 million of the projected costs are pegged to extensive damage caused by storms and debris flows in Los Angeles County, he said.

Since President Obama in March declared the foothills a federal disaster, state and local governments became eligible for the assistance.

The federal agency will pay 75% of project costs, while the state must cover 18.75%. Local governments have to commit to 6.2% of costs, Shebl said.

To establish funding, local governments have been working with the federal agency to develop a set of projects, determine the scope of the work and details related to project needs, he said.

Once the projects have been determined, FEMA runs them through an environmental review, he said.

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