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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Hannibal's storm damage cost total to top $1M

  • It appears the cost to repair and clean up public property in Hannibal following the May 20 storm will top $1 million.
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  • It appears the cost to repair and clean up public property in Hannibal following the May 20 storm will top $1 million.
    Doug Warren, finance director for the city, reports the total continues to climb.
    "I think we're going to hit $400,000 easy and probably be over that between fuel, overtime, chain saws and everything else that we did," he said, noting that for a time, when trucks were steadily hauling tree debris to the Bear Creek Dam area, the city's fuel bill alone was approximately $3,000 a day.
    Although almost two months since the event, storm-related costs haven't stopped.
    "I think it's going to continue for quite a while. They're still hauling brush," said Warren.
    The city's storm costs are only part of the story.
    "My ($400,000) number doesn't include the Board of Public Works," said Warren.
    During the June BPW Board meeting it was reported that the BPW's storm-related costs had already reached $415,000. At that time, Robert Stevenson, general manager of the BPW, projected that BPW costs would reach between $600,000 and $700,000.
    According to a memo this month from Stevenson to the BPW Board, the BPW's storm recovery costs are now at approximately $709,000.
    "We are still waiting for an invoice from Monroe City," he wrote.
    The cash necessary to pay for the storm damage and related expenses will come from the BPW's electric department's cash reserves, which stood at around $5 million prior to the storm.
    While it is not uncommon for communities to receive federal and/or state assistance following a disaster, none is expected this time around.
    "Unless there is a delayed (disaster) declaration, and there have been delayed declarations in the past, we probably won't receive any funds," said City Manager Jeff LaGarce. "I'm banking on 'no.'"
    "We could use some federal or state help, but they say it didn't affect a big enough area or enough people," said Warren.
    This is not the first time post-storm assistance has been refused Hannibal. In 2010, the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied a request that individual assistance be provided victims of the July flash flood in Hannibal. FEMA explained that it was denying a request for help because the "damage to the private sector was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments, and voluntary agencies."
    Ironically, FEMA did accept storm-related claims from communities following the 2010 flash flood for damage to public infrastructure. The BPW's claims totaled over $68,000 while the city's were between $30,000 and $40,000.
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