EMA requests damage reports

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 7, 2008

A dozen or more homes, mostly in Aid and Elizabeth townships, are known to have sustained major damage from last week’s flash flooding, Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Boster said Friday.

The EMA and 911 offices had fielded about 50 telephone calls from people reporting damage. Boster said thus far, more than half of those who called have sustained minor damage to their homes.

He encouraged people whose property was damaged, either residential or commercial, to contact his office so investigators can physically inspect the damage.

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The types and amount of damages must meet a certain criteria before local elected officials can declare a disaster or state of emergency and request assistance from state or federal levels. The EMA office telephone number of 533-4375.

The downpour affected not only homes but county infrastructure, businesses and churches.

A bridge on County Road 31 was damaged by high water. A few bridges on township roads were also damaged, Boster said.

One rural greenhouse sustained damage and a couple of church basements were flooded when creeks and streams rose.

Boster praised the emergency services, roadway and utility crews who spent much of Wednesday and Thursday morning handling the multitude of calls for assistance during and after the repeated waves of high winds and heavy rain.

Lawrence County Commissioners also praised those workers at Thursday’s commission meeting. Commissioner Jason Stephens said besides the damage to homes, he is also concerned with damage done to Lawrence County crops.

Last year many farmers lost hay and other crops because there was too little rain. Now, some of those same farmers may suffer because of too much rain at one time.

Commissioners have asked Boster and Peggy Reynolds, director of the Lawrence Soil and Water Conservation District, to meet with them this week and discuss the damage done by the recent flash flooding.