FEMA Sally reimbursements arriving


DAPHNE – Federal officials are starting to reimburse local governments for storm damage from Hurricane Sally in September, area officials said.

Kelli Reid, Daphne finance director, said the Federal Emergency Management Agency has begun reimbursing the city for cleanup costs and other expenses.

She told the City Council on Monday, April 19, that the city had 11 projects awaiting reimbursement. Project costs range from more than $5 million to about $20,000, she said.

“We received our first reimbursement about three weeks ago for one of the small projects. We got notified last week that our emergency protective management, which is basically overtime and some equipment from the Monday night, basically, before the storm through Sunday, overtime, public works, fire. That is a $200,000 project.”

She said the city received notice on April 16 that the emergency protective management project payment was being deposited.

She said the reimbursement claims for debris removal costs have moved to the next level in the FEMA payment process.

“So, hopefully, we will see some movement in there. But our experience, all in all, I think we’ve been a little luckier than some cities,” Reid said.

At a meeting April 1, Baldwin County commissioners and officials from cities around the county said they were still waiting on reimbursements for damage and cleanup in damage. Hurricane Sally made landfall in Baldwin County on Sept. 16, 2020. The storm left more than 3.5 million cubic yards of debris that was removed by city and county contractors and crews.

During the meeting, officials expressed concerns that the lack of payments left agencies without reserve funds needed to prepare for the 2021 hurricane season that begins June 1.

After commissioners and mayors met with state and federal officials later in April, FEMA representatives came to Baldwin County to work on reimbursement efforts, according to a county report.

The report said reimbursements for more than $200 million were delayed by several factors.