FRANKFORT, Ky. -- It's the trees. Nestled in north-central Kentucky, the densely wooded Camelot subdivision of Bardstown, Ky., often found trees or broken limbs falling on its overhead power lines during storms, leaving the subdivision in the dark. The City of Bardstown was repeatedly forced to dispatch utility crews, each time at great expense. In a single year of bad weather, the city might pay a minimum of $15,000 just to keep the overhead wires repaired.
For city Risk Manager Michael Forsee, the obvious solution was to bury the power lines, but the $100,000 cost was prohibitive. He applied for a Hazard Mitigation Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) when he learned that the grants provide funds for local communities to strengthen their infrastructure against natural disasters. The Camelot subdivision fit the criteria.