WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A federal audit is seeking repayment of $18.4 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency storm expenses from South Florida's water district.
The Homeland Security Department inspector general's audits involve the South Florida Water Management District, which handles flood control and water supply in 16 counties. The expenses were billed to FEMA after Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Jeanne and Wilma blew through the region in 2004 and 2005.
The Palm Beach Post reports that the audits fault the water district for questionable accounting practices, billing for ineligible expenses, excess equipment and unreasonable labor costs. Among the questioned costs is $10 million for repairs to canal banks, levees, locks and dams during Hurricane Frances in 2004.
The water district appealed the audits Thursday and says it is disappointed with the results.