Damage exceeds $4 million
The Alabama Forestry Commission announced this week that timber damage from Hurricane Dennis was minimal, and the county reported a $4 million damage account for public facilities.
Aerial flights conducted by the Alabama Forestry Commission on July 12-13indicated that the damage was confined to an approximate 30-mile wide path from the Alabama state line into the south end of Monroe County.
According to Madeline Hildreth with the Commission, minor damage was estimated at almost $3.3 million and was confined to Escambia and Monroe counties. Escambia was the hardest hit with 2,588 forested acres damaged with an estimated economic value of $2,544,107.
Aerial and ground reports indicate that the city of Atmore was hit hard by the storm and suffered heavy damage to street and yard trees. Hildreth said that strike teams from the Commission were mobilized to assist with road clearing and debris removal in the Atmore area.
The timber damage figures from Dennis are minor compared to Hurricane Ivan last September that did $610 million dollars in the timber damage to the 12 hardest hit counties; Baldwin, Butler, Clarke, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Escambia, Geneva, Mobile, Monroe and Wilcox. An additional $137 million in timber damage occurred in the 55 counties outside the hurricane impact area.
Hurricane Dennis not only damaged crops but public facilities. According to County Administrator Tony Sanks, who was handling the finances, the total public damage within Escambia County (Ala.) was estimated at $4,734,900. The figures were broken into three parts: $3.7 million for debris, $800,000 for utilities and $138,000 for roads.
The damage assessment figures are still being processed for privately homes and businesses.