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Stemple: OEM working to secure FEMA funding

November 29, 2012
By Casey Houser - Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

FEMA reimbursement for costs incurred from Superstorm Sandy was discussed by the Tucker County Commission Wednesday.

Darla Stemple, director of Tucker's Office of Emergency Management, told commissioners that President Barack Obama issued a disaster declaration for 18 counties in the state, Tucker among them. Now that the declaration has been made, the OEM is working with fire departments, police and local government officials to figure out what claims should be submitted to FEMA.

"It's looks like we'll have a dozen agencies qualify this time," Stemple said.

Officials are invited to meet at the Tucker Senior Center on Dec. 4 at 7:15 p.m. for the Local Emergency Planning Committee after-action meeting. During the meeting, OEM will be able to hear from different agencies about materials that were used during the storm.

When a list of costs is determined, Stemple said, invoices will be submitted to FEMA, who will decide what can be reimbursed.

"Materials and supplies that are needed for emergency service is allowed (for reimbursement)," said Stemple.

She said that the definition of what can be reimbursed is vague. However, she also mentioned that costs incurred from the June 29 storm were recently reimbursed by FEMA at nearly 100 percent.

Commissioner Mike Rosenau asked Stemple about reimbursement for individuals.

Stemple said that she is not aware of how much any single person can expect to be reimbursed. Negotiations are still going on, so there can only be speculation at this point.

She also said insurance companies will need to be conferred with, considering individual costs. Lost wages, food loss and generator usage is not covered by FEMA, she said.

In other news:

- Commissioners voted to endorse the idea of creating a Cheat River Water Trail System.

"What we're doing is approving the concept of this idea," said Commissioner Tom Carr.

The Cheat River Water Trail System will include the designation of river access points and the creation of maps, guides and educational materials. Friends of the Cheat is spearheading the project.

"Be sure that all the access points are in agreement with the owners," said Commissioner Lowell Moore, who supports approval of the concept but wants access areas that go through private land to cause no conflict.

Janet Preston, a Friends of the Cheat member who is promoting the River Trail, was in attendance and agreed with Moore's assertion that conflict should be avoided. She also mentioned that handicap accessible access points are being considered.

- Two personnel matters were attended to at the commission meeting: Ben Herrick has been reappointed to the Tucker County Planning Commission; and William Dilly has been approved for another month to continue as the Tucker County clerk of the works.

Contact Casey Houser by email at



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