Waverly receives FEMA funding to speed up reconstruction post-flooding

Waverly Flood
Posted at 7:13 PM, Jun 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-04 20:13:47-04

WAVERLY, Tenn. (WTVF) — After the deadly flooding in Waverly in August 2021, the task of inspecting hundreds of damaged homes seemed daunting to the town's Code Enforcement Director, Larry Lescure.

“I’m just a one-man band,” said Lescure, who had been a Waverly police officer for 30 years before becoming a building code manager.

But now, Waverly has become the second community in the country to benefit from Section 1206 of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018, which provides communities with the resources needed to administer and enforce building codes and floodplain management effectively.

The policy also authorized Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding to increase the town's overall speed of recovery.

“If it weren’t for the FEMA grant, we wouldn’t be this far along in the rebuilding process,” Lescure said.

With a grant of $4,500, Lescure was able to hire contractors to help with inspections and ensure new structures were going up according to code. This means residents and other organizations can rebuild faster.

Under Section 1206, the work eligible for FEMA reimbursement includes:

  • Costs for reviewing and processing building and floodplain management permits and plans.
  • Hiring, training and supervising staff — including overtime for budgeted employees and straight and overtime for unbudgeted employees and extra hires.
  • Inspecting structures
  • Preparing cost information for substantial damage determinations.