KAYSVILLE -- While the physical damage from the Dec. 1 windstorm has largely been cleaned up, the fiscal damages continue to bombard the city.
City officials estimate cleanup costs will approach $500,000 when the job is done; however, they recently learned of possible relief. During the week of the storm, the city filed an emergency declaration in hopes of qualifying for federal aid if it became available.
On Tuesday the Federal Emergency Management Agency will perform a preliminary damage assessment to evaluate the damage within each affected jurisdiction, Mayor Steve Hiatt said. He hopes the agency will reimburse the city for cleanup expenses.
In the meantime, the city has tapped its emergency fund to cover the cost of cleanup.
Already paid out is $213,465 in labor (both internal and external), lodging for other agencies and equipment rental expenses. Still to be paid is $150,000 for outstanding power department materials and supplies, and $100,000 that is still in process, Hiatt said.
"This is the very reason why we have a reserve fund -- for an emergency such as this," he said. "We have more than adequate funds to cover the costs."
While the expenses for the storm are high, Hiatt emphasized that residents' volunteer efforts saved the city a tremendous amount of time and money.
On the Sunday after the storm, leaders urged residents to speed cleanup efforts in an attempt to prevent further damage from another possible storm. This prompted many churches to cut short or cancel worship services to let parishioners help their neighbors.
Among other things, volunteers cleaned three areas city employees couldn't get to right away: the cemetery, Gailey Park and the Rotary Club walkway, said Vance Garfield, parks and recreation superintendent.
By the time employees reached these areas to clean them, they found the debris had already been removed, he said.
A temporary dump was set up on the site of the future Pioneer Park on Angel Street. The 10 acres were filled within eight hours.
"There is no way to assess the amount of money that was saved by our community coming together," said Hiatt. "It was nothing short of miraculous, in my view."
The storm wreaked havoc on the city's power infrastructure, with 36 broken power poles and loss of electricity to 3,207 customers, Kaysville City Power Superintendent Gary Hatch said. Power was restored to most customers within four days.
Hiatt said Kaysville disposed of 128 tons of green waste in the first three days after the storm, which contributed to the 614 tons of combined waste the city took to the Wasatch Integrated Waste site in December.