EMA: Report property damage

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 18, 2009

Emergency management agency officials are now working to determine if the county can receive federal disaster assistance, and how much it could possibly get.

Susan Carpenter, county EMA director, said local property owners should report storm damage to private property structures as soon as possible.

“There are two ways FEMA can assist with disaster aid, and for both ways there is a certain dollar threshold the county must meet to receive funds,” Carpenter said. “There is what they call ‘public assistance,’ which is for bridges and roads.

“The other side is ‘individual assistance,’ which can help citizens repair damages to homes and businesses,” she said. “We know we have enough on the road and bridge side, but what we need to know now is how much private property damage was received. We need to know that so that it can be determined if FEMA can step in.”

Carpenter said those who sustained damage should contact the EMA office with the following information: name, address, telephone number and type of damage.

“If you do have damage, please keep good documentation such as pictures and videos,” she said. “And if purchases are made to repair damage, please keep receipts for documentation.”

Rain totals are expected to rise today as another line of showers makes its way through the county.

“With that rain, there are going to be more concerns about flooding and such,” she said. “Just how much rain we’re going to get is a bit uncertain. It all depends on what line (the storm) takes. We could be looking at anywhere from another inch to another 3 inches.

“We haven’t had a lot of turnaround time for the rain to sink in, so please be cautious when traveling the roadways.”

Carpenter said those with immediate weather concerns should visit these following Web sites: for the Conecuh River level, waterwatch.usgs.gov; for the Yellow River water level, cpyrwma.alabama.gov; for generic weather information, the National Weather Service at nws.noaa.gov or ahps.srh.noaa.gov; and for information on Gantt Lake and the associated waterways, PowerSouth at www.powersouth.com.