FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Commonwealth of Kentucky and FEMA have approved $1,589,191 to reimburse utility cooperative Big Rivers Electric Corporation for expenses resulting from the mid-December 2021 tornadoes, which damaged power lines and conductors affecting 56.7 miles of transmission line.
The Henderson County-based cooperative, which sits on the Ohio River across from Evansville, Ind., provides wholesale electric power and services to three distribution cooperative members across 22 counties in western Kentucky.
The Dec. 10-11 tornadoes damaged 27 metal and 10 wood power poles, 69 insulators and 15,600 feet of conductor in Ohio County. Funding from FEMA’s Public Assistance program covers labor, replacement of the equipment, materials and contracts for in-kind repairs.
FEMA’s cost for the project is $1,430,271 for work completed Dec. 10 to Jan. 14.
FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the eligible cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and facility restoration.
Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program. Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, federal reimbursement for eligible Public Assistance projects shall not be less than 90% of total eligible costs. Typically, the federal cost share is 75%. The federal share is paid directly to the commonwealth to disburse to agencies, local governments and the nonprofit organizations that incurred costs.