Cleanup begins|County estimates over $5 million in flood damage

Published 1:44 pm Tuesday, December 22, 2009

By By Lisa Tindell
news editor
Gov. Bob Riley told local leaders Friday that his office and emergency management agencies would work to get help to the flood-damaged county by Christmas Eve.
The county and state worked quickly to declare the area a disaster after heavy rain led to county-wide flooding on Tuesday. Brewton, East Brewton, Atmore and Flomaton all had roads under water and damage to homes and businesses.
County officials have estimated the damage at more than $5.8 million.
Escambia County Emergency Management Director David Adams said individual amounts submitted for the comprehensive total for damages in the county included $3 million for county roads, bridges, etc.; $38,000 for Sheriffs Department expenses; $1.25 million for Atmore municipality; $400,000 for Brewton municipality; $362,000 for Flomaton municipality and 594,000 for East Brewton municipality; and $250,000 for Poarch Creek Indians.
Adams said the declarations and assessments are the first steps in securing assistance from FEMA.
Adams said the threshold is based on population and must reach the $5.8 million mark before FEMA steps in to offer assistance.
Riley said the request would be expedited and he expected a quick response.
Adams said federal and state officials will come into the state and county to make final assessments.
The help offered by FEMA initially will be for public assistance only, Adams said.
Riley said Friday plans are already in the works to have teams of experts assess the damage early next week.
Adams said individual assistance may take a little longer to see happen.
Homeowners who experienced damage as a result of the storm or subsequent flood need to contact Adams’ office to begin the process for a request for assistance.
Adams said a separate threshold must be met by individuals before anyassistance will be declared.
Riley said all city, county and state officials need to point out as much damage to the teams who will be assessing the need for assistance. “When they think they’ve seen enough take them to the next house,” Riley said. “They need to see everything.”
To contact Adams concerning individual property damage, call the Escambia County EMA office at 867-0232.