Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Monday, January 22

FEMA Expands Tree Guidelines


FEMA has decided to expand the area from which it will remove dead trees beyond the surge zone of Hurricane Katrina.

The federal agency will now remove dead trees on public rights of way in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties. Trees on private property that "pose an immediate threat to improved property or limit access to emergency vehicles" may also be eligible, according to a letter Benjamin Watson, acting director of FEMA in Mississippi, wrote.

He was responding to a request from Thomas M. Womack, director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, that dead trees be removed in 10 southern counties. Watson decided to limit the request to the coastal counties.

Tree removal will be decided on a case-by-case basis following inspections to determine eligibility, said Brent McMahan, FEMA's lead public affairs officer.

FEMA had been limiting tree removal to areas deluged by Katrina's storm surge.


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