Mayor seeks federal disaster aid for flooding

April 8, 2015

Mayor Greg Fischer says the city is moving quickly to seek federal disaster assistance for both individual and public damage and losses stemming from the record rainfall last week.

Immediately after the torrential rains --- up to seven inches in parts of Louisville – Fischer directed the city’s emergency management officials to quickly assess local damage to homes, public buildings, roads and other infrastructure caused by the intense flash flooding. The city  will total those damage costs and provide that to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Fischer yesterday took another step in seeking state and federal aid by declaring a local state of emergency.

“From flooded homes and businesses to ruined cars and heavy damage to many public buildings and facilities, this was a sudden and widespread disaster for our community,” Fischer said. “We will seek all federal and state assistance possible to help our people recover from the flooding, both immediate and longer term.”

City officials are working with Kentucky Emergency Management to survey damages to homes throughout Louisville to determine whether the community can meet the threshold to qualify for low-interest loans to homeowners who suffered major damage.

Residents can aid the process by reporting and documenting their flooding losses and damage online at the city’s website, www.louisvilleky.gov. (direct link is: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/emametrosafe/request-individual-assi...)

To meet the federal standard for low-interest loans, Louisville would have to document more than 100 homes damaged beyond repair and uninhabitable, said Doug Hamilton, Louisville Metro’s chief of public services.

Many Louisville Metro Government buildings were hard hit, with some of the most extensive damage at the Metro Animal Services facility on Manslick Rd., the city’s heavy truck facility on Newburg Rd., and an electrical maintenance shop on Logan Street.

Uninsured damage to state-owned property and clean-up expenses will also count toward the $2.6 million threshold to qualify for federal assistance. Damage estimates are still being totaled, but the University of Louisville has reported damage of at least $1.1 million and state officials estimate that repairs to a washed-out section of Ky. 22 will cost more than $1 million.  

FEMA pays for 75 percent of eligible claims, including damage to government property and some costs associated with managing and recovering from the disaster. The Commonwealth of Kentucky and Louisville Metro Government will share the remaining 25 percent of the eligible costs.

Louisville Metro Government is self insured but has supplemental flood insurance that will likely cover much of the city’s property damage.