FEMA Denies Flood-Ravaged Capitola Disaster Assistance Money

CAPITOLA (KCBS) – Flash floods back in March caused massive damage in the city of Capitola but the town has been rebuffed in its request for federal disaster assistance from FEMA. In its letter of denial FEMA said the storms weren’t severe, or continuous.

“We are going to appeal this decision,” said Capitola Mayor Dennis Norton. “I don’t know what the repercussions will be, or the even process to do that is at this point, but we’re going to appeal it and see if they’ll look favorably upon us. We can’t afford, as a small community, to absorb this kind of loss without some cuts in services.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

The storms cause $2 million in damage in Capitola, and $17 million county-wide.

Norton said that the flash floods on March 24th and 26th were caused by a ruptured underground stream pipe.

“The stream actually surfaced. It turned and went through our police department, through our fire department, through our lower city hall, and then down into the village where it actually sat for a number of hours leaving approximately 60 businesses under water,” said Norton.

While all of the affected businesses have reopened, the town was forced to rebuild the interior of the police department. The fire department still sits vacant.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • Roger Craig

    Should not live there if you can not afford to rebuild or get flood insurance. I give the Feds a congrats for finally turning off the free money to freeloaders that do not move out of danger zones…

  • kp

    Insurance defines flood as “rise of surface water. The proximate cause of the damage is the rise of surface water from the underground stream pipe. It is flood damage and, if flood coverage were purchased, there should be coverage for this event. It appears there was none purchased and now they expect FEMA to pay it under a “federal disaster” event. If I don’t buy fire insurance and my home burns, no one is there to pay my damages. It is the cities responsibility to make sure they have adequate coverage. FEMA should not pay in this case.

  • Ima Niggar


    NO FEDERAL MONEY for these SPICCKS!!!!!

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