Mayor Ballard seeking federal disaster assistance for Jan. 5 storm

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Mayor Greg Ballard is hoping the federal government will kick in some financial help after the city spent millions on road maintenance and snow removal this week.

The mayor signed a formal request Friday. Sunday's storm was the second highest single-day snowfall in history followed by 34 consecutive hours of sub-zero temperatures.

"While the fight to clear streets continues and the total cost of this storm is still being calculated, it is clear that our expenses exceed the requirements to qualify for federal disaster assistance," said Mayor Ballard. "Should the federal government grant the petition from Indy and other Central Indiana counties, we would be able to recover many of our costs of this historic storm."

This is only the first step in the process, however.

Marion County has to show it spent over $3.16 million, and the snowfall must be within ten percent of its record snowfall.

Once the Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security tabulates costs, those will be combined with county costs and delivered to Gov. Mike Pence, who will make a disaster declaration for affected areas to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

If FEMA grants the petition, that means Marion County could recoup costs for overtime, private contractors for snow removal, opening evacuation shelters and evacuation, removing snow from building entrances and repairing damage caused by the storm.

See the mayor's petition.