116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids has received $15.1 million in reimbursements for expenses for recovery from the 2020 derecho from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, city officials said Friday.
To date, City Finance Director Casey Drew said FEMA has obligated project worksheets totaling $41.3 million, and Cedar Rapids has received $15.1 million in reimbursements as it recovers from the devastation of the Aug. 10, 2020, storm.
U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-1st District, on Friday announced the obligation of $13 million from FEMA to Cedar Rapids. Drew said this would fund the city’s phase two debris removal project worksheet.
Cedar Rapids officials estimate derecho recovery will total about $85 million, Drew said. The city expects $60 to $65 million in reimbursement for FEMA-eligible costs.
Drew said the city expects it will be on the hook for $8 to $10 million in costs not covered by FEMA, Emergency Watershed Protection funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service or the city’s insurance. These costs encompass damages to bridges and debris within Cedar Rapids waterways and unimproved areas.
Iowa communities were notified last month that the federal government would cover a larger-than-usual share of the cost for disasters that occurred in 2020 and 2021, which is expected to save cities including Cedar Rapids millions on 2020 derecho recovery expenses.
A bill signed into law by President Joe Biden in March month granted a minimum 90 percent federal cost share for any emergency or major disaster declaration occurring between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2021 — covering the Aug. 10, 2020, derecho that struck parts of Iowa, particularly Cedar Rapids, with hurricane-force wind gusts. FEMA typically takes on 75 percent of the costs.
The cost-share adjustment includes FEMA’s Public Assistance, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and specified Individual Assistance programs authorized under emergency and major disaster declarations.
City Manager Jeff Pomeranz previously said he is “positive about getting the full reimbursement, but it's going to take time going through the federal process.”
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