Local governments requested federal funding for demolition of damaged structures and debris removal from both residential and commercial properties affected by the wildfires.
Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Pittman Center and Sevier County are currently coordinating with state and federal agencies to establish a debris-removal operations plan in response to the recent wildfires. As part of this plan, county and city officials will be requesting FEMA approval of federal funding for the following specialized programs:
- Debris removal from privately-owned residential properties
- Demolition of destroyed structures
- Removal of debris from commercial property
- Removal of hazardous standing dead trees
Federally-funded activities could include the removal of hazardous debris such as standing walls, masonry, ash, metals, hazardous soils, crushed concrete, vehicles, vegetative debris and standing dead trees. The proposed operations plan will also include erosion control and slope-stabilization measures necessary to protect property from future damages.
Should FEMA grant approval of the above requests, property owners will be asked to sign a right-of-entry to allow county and city contractors to perform work on private property. Per FEMA policy, property owners who receive insurance proceeds specifically for debris removal, structure demolition or other activities performed by the county or city contractors would be required to submit such insurance proceeds to the county or city. Additional information will be provided to citizens if and when the county and city requests for federal funding support are approved.