While flooding conditions remain possible in some sub-basins, the 2017 flood season from spring runoff in the Snake River Basin is winding down. Levee sponsors need to get their paperwork ready to request rehabilitation assistance,” said Jeff Stidham, District disaster response manager. “Contacting the Corps is the first step to request assistance for repairing flood risk management structures that were damaged during seasonal flooding.”
The Corps of Engineers has authority under Public Law 84-99 to supplement local efforts in the repair of both federal (Corps-constructed, locally operated and maintained) and non-federal (constructed by non-federal interests or by the Work Projects Administration) flood risk management projects damaged by flooding events. Several criteria must be met to satisfied eligibility, said Stidham.
The basic eligibility criteria are:
1. There must have been a verifiable flood event on the river basin(s) in your area during the defined flood season dates – these dates vary by individual river basins. “Flooding” means that flows in the basin must have been unusually high or reached a level formally defined as flooding by the National Weather Service.
2. For a non-federal flood risk management project to be eligible for PL 84-99 rehabilitation assistance, it must have been inspected, evaluated and accepted into the Corps’ Rehabilitation and Inspection Program with a current “Active” status prior to the onset of the flood, and still be “Active,” based on the project’s latest Continuing Eligibility Inspection, at the time of the flood.
3. For a federal flood risk management project to be eligible for PL 84-99 rehabilitation assistance, it must be in an “Active” status by having passed its last Inspection of Completed Works inspection.
4. Rehabilitation assistance will be provided by the Corps only when the work is economically justifiable, the damage was sustained during the recent flood event and the cost of repairs is more than $15,000.
If the project meets these criteria, Corps staff will request program funds from the Corps of Engineers headquarters to conduct a field investigation of the project. Once funding is received, Walla Walla District emergency management staff will schedule an inspection with the levee sponsor (often called a Public Sponsor) to gather information which will evaluate the damage, estimate repair costs and determine if the work is economically justifiable.
“The great part about the PL 84-99 program is that this study is 100 percent federally funded,” Stidham noted.
“Beyond that, rehabilitation assistance for a non-federal project is cost shared at 20 percent from the sponsor and 80 percent from the Corps of Engineers. Federal projects do not have a sponsor cost-share requirement.”
Under the PL 84-99 program, a flood risk management project must have been inspected under the Levee Safety Program. To minimize levee sponsors’ efforts, emergency management staff will coordinate rehabilitation assistance requests with Levee Safety Program staff. The Corps will also coordinate with local and state emergency management agencies, as well as the National Weather Service. Requesting assistance under PL 84-99 does not automatically enroll a levee sponsor in any separate assistance programs another agency may offer.
Levee sponsors who believe their flood risk management project(s) may qualify for PL 84-99 assistance should submit a written request to Walla Walla District’s Readiness Office at:
Commander, U.S. Army Engineer District, Walla Walla
Attention: Readiness Office (Val Bogdanowitz)
201 North 3rd Avenue
Walla Walla, Washington 99362
The request must be signed by an officer or responsible official of your agency, and must include:
- Name and telephone number of the public sponsor’s point of contact;
- Legal name of the flood control project;
- Date and results of the last inspection by the Corps of Engineers;
- Location of the flood control project by township, section, range, city, and county;
- Location(s) of the damaged section(s), and extent of the damage at each location; and
- Waterway causing the flood.
- Photographs are optional, but are encouraged if they are available.
Levee sponsors having more than one damaged project, may submit one letter covering all eligible damaged projects. If stream flows are high enough to obscure potential damages, sponsors may request an extension of the deadline. Levee Sponsors may contact the District’s Emergency Manager Jeff Stidham at 509-527-7145, or firstname.lastname@example.org, with questions about applying for PL 84-99 rehabilitation assistance.