FEMA Officials Visit Auglaize Co.

ST. MARYS — Officials from FEMA left Auglaize County Friday to continue assessment trips in the wake of the June 29 wind event that swept across the state.

Auglaize County EMA Director Troy Anderson and officials from FEMA met to determine if the county, its residents and its governmental agencies were eligible for federal assistance to help cover costs associated with the storm. When all the numbers were crunched, Anderson said the county and several governmental agencies reached the threshold for possible assistance, and it was determined there would be no assistance for residents on an individual basis.

“I do not have individual assistance,” Anderson said. “What that means is if you bought a generator during this event and were hoping FEMA would reimburse you, that’s not going to happen. It’s not like the ice storm and that’s how they put it.”

In the storm’s aftermath, Anderson compiled data on individual damage reports. Those reports, when totaled, failed to reach thresholds set up by FEMA regarding wind events.

“It goes by number of uninsured losses and you need to have 25 major or destroyed,” Anderson said. “I did not have that many ... I had two, possibly three homes that were destroyed. The rest were where we had barns that collapsed and those don’t qualify because they are not a primary residence.”

Anderson said he recorded 40 minor incidents, 80 affected incidents associated with the storm. On the government side, Anderson said the county met its threshold — which was $155,000 per capita for uninsured losses. The county’s figured totaled more than $350,000 per capita.

“We submitted a proposal with all the equipment, man hours, debris removal, the cost to mulch or chip up the debris and the public utilities for repairs,” Anderson said. “It’s still not 100 percent, it’s just preliminary. Right now they are going to Logan County to check — to my knowledge Mercer County did not have enough to meet its threshold.”

Auglaize County, along with St. Marys, Wapakoneta, New Bremen, Waynesfield, Duchouquet Township and Salem Township, are included in the government assistance report. Midwest Electric and DP&L also were included based upon utility damage.

“We met the preliminary, now FEMA will go around and meet with the other counties and then total up the state,” Anderson said. “The state has to meet its criteria — which is $15 million to $16 million. If that total exceeds the state’s per capita, then the governor can look at and ask for assistance as long as we qualify. If that happens, there’s a chance for reimbursement for the governments.”

If assistance is given to Auglaize County, that would open up any contiguous counties that failed to meet the threshold to seek relief. That scenario occurred during the flood of 2011.

“Contiguous counties were able to get assistance because Auglaize and Mercer counties were primary,” Anderson said of the SBA assistance in 2011. “The contiguous counties are secondary.”