Kentucky utility receives major FEMA grant for electrical upgrades
FEMA has approved nearly $1.2 million in total funding to reimburse the Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (PRECC) of Kentucky for repairs to its power distribution system. This damage was due to severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, and tornadoes that occurred Dec. 10-11, 2021.
During this storm, power lines and trees were downed, damaging the PRECC electric grid in Christian County. FEMA’s Public Assistance program "provides grants to state, tribal, and local governments, and certain types of private non-profit organizations including rural electric cooperatives, so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters," according to a March 13 press release.
FEMA approved $1,176,260 to reimburse the PRECC for repair efforts. The electrical co-op used contract workers and PRECC crews, equipment and vehicles to assist with the repairs. They removed/replaced 200 wood poles, 53 transformers along with conductor wire, insulators, guy wires, crossarms and associated hardware. The project restored the power distribution system back to its pre-disaster design, function, and capacity within the existing footprint.
Because of the damage from this storm, the U.S. government "authorized a cost share adjustment to 90% federal funding for this project," FEMA said. "All work and costs were between Dec. 11, 2021, and May 20, 2022. This means FEMA reimburses applicants at 90% of eligible costs with the remaining 10% covered by the commonwealth. The federal share is paid directly to the commonwealth to disburse to the PRECC. Following the commonwealth's review process and upon receipt of appropriate documentation, they reimburse the PRECC."
A hazard mitigation proposal was included in this project to reduce the likelihood of similar damage from a future event. To increase the wind resistance and overall resilience of the power distribution system the PRECC reinforced specific poles with extra guy wires and anchors.