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County: Be patient about FEMA funds

By By Lisa Tindell
news editor

The Escambia County Commission is asking residents of the county to be patient when it comes to repairs of bridges and roads damaged in the December 2009 flooding.
Tony Williams, a representative from the public assistance department of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, addressed commissioners Monday to bring them up to date on repair projects currently on the FEMA list for the county.
Commissioner Brandon Smith said the projects, some of which fall in his district, are ones that will make travel in the area better once the projects are completed.
Some of the projects on the mitigation list include County Road 69 (Damascus Road), Cowpen Creek Road bridge, North Canoe Road bridge, Smith Dairy Road bridge, Old Foshee bridge and pipe/culvert work on Madden-Smith Loop.
County Engineer Bill Bridges said patience is going to be key for residents in the area citing the FEMA funds as a blessing for the county.
Williams said the time it will take to begin work on each of the projects varies from case to case. The length of time could be as long as a year, with residents having to face rerouting and other issues during that time.
Smith said he knows the problems residents are facing in the areas where the damage is the worst.
Williams said any work done on the mitigated projects before completion of the approval process would jeopardize any funding through FEMA.
Wiggins said he wanted what is best for citizens of the county and that their patience will be better in the long run.
Bridges commended Williams and other FEMA representatives for their work on
the county’s projects.
said. ‘We are working to run these projects and get help from FEMA now so
they don’t have to leave and come back to us later which would really slow
things down.”