County declares state of emergency

Published 12:03 am Thursday, May 8, 2014



Officials are asking for the continued patience of the public this week as the process of repairing approximately $700,000 in road damages across the county continues in the wake of recent storms.

During Wednesday’s regular meeting of the Covington County Commission, commissioners voted unanimously to declare a state of emergency in the county. That action, according to Covington County Emergency Management Agency Director Susan Harris, allows the county to be eligible for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association) funds.

“There are two types of funding,” Harris said. “IA, which is individual assistance. We had two house fires and I don’t think they’ll be eligible for that. PA is public assistance. I think the minimum is like $132,000 and (the county) was way past that in their damage assessment.”

Commissioner Harold Elmore said county officials are waiting on FEMA representatives to visit the county before moving forward on any major roadwork. Elmore said that visit is scheduled to take place today.

“We’re waiting on a visit from FEMA,” Elmore said. “They were supposed to have come Monday, and now they’re telling us Thursday. But they may call tomorrow and say it’s going to be next Thursday. I’m just asking for the people of the county to bare with us and have patience.”

Elmore said the process typically moves more smoothly once FEMA officials have had the chance to personally view the reported damage.

“If you know anything about insurance, you know if you blow the top of your house, the insurance company isn’t going to help you out if you just fix it,” Elmore said. “Even if you have pictures. They want to see it themselves.”

County Engineer Darren Capps said 168 miles of dirt roads, along with seven paved-road sites, will require repairs after being damaged by floodwaters. Capps said Wednesday that, of the approximately 20 damaged roads countywide, only four are still impassable. Capps said TT Clark Rd., Walker Rd., Glen Chambers Rd. and North Creek Rd. remain closed.