County applies for FEMA grant for February storm cleanup

  • Sunday, June 29, 2014

Lindsay Street/Independent February’s ice storm cost the county $5 million.

Not since Hurricane Hugo has Berkeley County seen such destruction. That’s been a common refrain following the wicked February ice storm.

And like Hugo, the storm had its costs. However, in the amount of lives lost and cleanup, the February ice storm came in at only a fraction of Hugo’s cost (35 lives lost, $5.9 billion in cleanup).

One person lost his life in Berkeley County during the ice storm as he tried to heat his home with a charcoal grill and, so far, the storm has cost the county $5 million in cleanup.

Now the county is seeking reimbursement of the monetary expense.

Deputy Supervisor Kace Smith addressed Berkeley County Council during the June 23 regular meeting. Smith requested and unanimously received permission to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to reimburse up to 75 percent of the county’s expenses.

“We’re not certain of the amount of reimbursement we will get,” Smith said.

But one reimbursement the county definitely won’t get is matching state funds, she added. In past times, the state would reimburse 12.5 percent but no county will get that aid following the storm cleanup, Smith said.

She said that the county’s general fund will likely end up paying $50,000, and county’s Water & Sanitation will likely end up paying $1 million.

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