PORTSMOUTH — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to look into all the documentation prepared by Portsmouth Wastewater Director Rick Duncan and his staff, as well as the engineering firms utilized by the city, to make a decision as to whether to certify the city’s levee or not.
Late last year, after an extended period of studies, repairs, and documenting every aspect of the process, the city filed the necessary report, putting the ball in FEMA’s court.
“We got a response back from FEMA about two weeks ago,” Duncan said. “They requested some additional information from the engineers and Howerton and AMEC are both working on the few minor things that need to be submitted with the information already submitted. Then they (FEMA) will finish their review. It’s looking good.”
In October 2015, workers placed pipe in an oversized space created by some old pipe at the site of pump station 2 on 12th Street in Portsmouth in order to repair a sink hole. That was the final project before filing.
With obstacles arising at nearly every point of the project — including the firing of Duncan on the first day in office for then-Mayor Jane Murray, the hiring of two firms to do studies and Duncan’s eventual return under a new city administration — the process has taken a lot longer than originally expected which has caused the Village of New Boston to have to wait.
Though they have been done with their part of the process for quite some time, the levees are required to be certified together, Duncan said.
“The difference between certification and non-certification would result in high flood insurance rates for residents of the city,” he said.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.