The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

FEMA begins payment process for 2018 storms


April 12, 2019


Hurley — The process of reimbursing local communities for damaged sustained during a pair of storms last year is under way as the Federal Emergency Management Agency has begun issuing checks to Iron County communities included in the federal disaster declarations.

The town of Oma and the city of Montreal should be receiving checks for $5,417 and $3,206 respectively in the coming days for the costs they spent on “protective measures,” according to Iron County Emergency Management Director Stacey Ofstad. Ofstad said the money was largely to reimburse the eligible portions of the costs the municipalities had during the storm and in the immediate aftermath.

“Basically the first night of the storm,” Ofstad said.

The cities of Hurley and Montreal; as well as the towns of Anderson, Kimball, Mercer, Oma, Pence and Saxon and Iron County’s facility at Saxon Harbor were included in the federal disaster declaration issued after a June 15-19 storm that included flooding and other damage.

The city of Hurley; along with the towns of Anderson, Kimball and Saxon were included in a second declaration issued in October following an August storms where parts of the county experienced flooding and wind damage.

The other Iron County communities should be receiving the final paperwork to receive their checks in the next week or so, according to Ofstad, with checks arriving roughly a month or two after the paperwork is signed and returned back to the state of Wisconsin.

“It does sound like 95 percent of projects are going to (receive the paperwork). There’s a few outstanding that still have a few questions,” Ofstad said.

Locally, Ofstad said the area is estimated to receive between $400,000-$500,000 in reimbursements related to the June 2018 storm and roughly another $100,000 in reimbursements from the August storm.

Regarding the larger, July 2016 storm that destroyed the Saxon Harbor marina and campground and caused road washouts in the northern part of the county; Ofstad said all the qualifying municipalities in the county had been paid and only the county is awaiting payment for various parts of the harbor rebuilding project.

“The only thing pending on that (disaster declaration) is the harbor,” Ofstad said. “I think the town of Gurney received their last check … in early winter because they had an appeal on a project.”


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