County surveying flood damage

Published 10:12 am Friday, May 7, 2010

County officials continue to collect information from people whose property was damaged by flooding last weekend.

Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Boster told the Lawrence County Commission Thursday thus far, he has reports of 65 homes that were affected by Sunday’s flooding. Of those houses, only 14 were considered by state and federal standards to have major damage; only seven could be considered destroyed.

These figures do not allow county officials to ask state and federal officials for a disaster declaration.

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To obtain the declaration, local officials must identify 25 homes and businesses that have sustained at least 40 percent damage or fall into the categories of “major damage” or “destroyed.”

In spite of tight state and federal emergency management regulations governing what is considered minor damage and what constitutes major damage, Boster said he hopes anyone who has suffered flooding damaging to contact his office if they have not already done so.

Boster said most of the people affected by the flooding do not have flood insurance.

Those with flooding damage are urged to call the EMA office at (740)n533-4375.

Commissioners praised Boster, firefighters, and all emergency service personnel who have put in countless hours during and after the rains.

“I think in the last three days you’ve probably had about three hours sleep,” Commissioner Les Boggs said to Boster. “I think you’ve done a fantastic job.”

Commissioner Doug Malone agreed.

“”I want to thank you, and Lonnie (Best, 911 Center director), the 911 dispatchers the sheriff’s office, everyone,” he said.

Boster said throughout the deluge, nearly every emergency services agency in the county was called to aid fellow Lawrence Countians.

“I think at one point 13 of the county’s 15 fire departments were responding simultaneously,” Boster said. “There were at least 15 water rescues.”

There was damage to public property as well. The Lawrence County Engineer’s Office is contending with a landslide on Elkins Creek Road that is approximately 150 feet long as well as other, smaller landslides in Windsor, Upper and Fayette townships.