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FEMA begins taking stock

Today, at least one Federal Emergency Management official will begin inventorying an estimated $6 million in damages resulting from December flooding.

County engineer Darren Capps said during Monday’s county commission meeting, the FEMA official will be “riding the county’s roads” and compiling project worksheets for damages sustained during the December flooding.

This is the next step of the recovery process that, once completed, could make the county eligible to receive up to 75 percent of the repair costs from the federal government.

“We’ve estimated slightly under $6 million in damages, but after we get our project worksheets done, we’ll know just where we stand,” he said.

“After all of this (recent) rain, that total might be higher. (In March) we started with one (FEMA official), but in the end, it took nine to get all the work done.

“We’ll just have to see how it goes.”

This weekend’s inclement weather was just the latest in a string of heavy rain and high wind systems to make its way through Covington County.

In March, an estimated $3.9 million in damages was caused.

In December, more than 60 local roadways suffered damages.

Work has not yet been completed on all of March’s projects, nor has it begun in many of the December projects.

“We’ve got to have dry weather to get this work done,” he said.

“We’ve got the material stockpiled to a lot of these jobs, but you can’t do it when it’s wet.”

In other business, the commission:

heard from residents in the Wagon Wheel subdivision as to the condition of their roadways and canals. Capps said he would contact the Natural Resource Conservation (NRC) to see if funds can be secured to repair some of the damages.

awarded a bid for gasoline and diesel fuel to Matthews Petroleum.