Storm cleanup going slowly

Published 10:55 am Friday, June 24, 2011

The quick, fierce storms Tuesday sent county engineer crews out cleaning up debris the next day, adding another delay to their working on the massive repair jobs caused by the heavy May rains.

“We had several roads with trees down, but we were appreciative of several fire departments that were able to cut those trees off the roads before we got called out,” County Engineer Doug Cade said.

This week Gov. John Kasich submitted the state’s request to FEMA and President Barack Obama requesting that a disaster declaration be made in 21 counties in eastern and southeastern Ohio.

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“We have not heard anything back,” Cade said.

Earlier this month a field representative from FEMA came to the county to assess damage from the May 10 and 11 storms. At that time there were 142 damaged or destroyed bridges with a landslide count at 102. Also there were 209 bridges with debris either stuck underneath or at the entrances. Cade estimated damage at $15.8 million.

Repair work goes slowly, the engineer said.

“We are still working on several different locations,” Cade said. “At County Road 5 Elkins Creek where we are repairing a slip there. We finished County Road 44 last week. We are working on several different locations, a lot are washed out at the end of the culvert. All of these are pretty big. It usually takes about a week to repair one landslide.”

Some of the slides like the one on County Road 7A are so large it is beyond the capability of the county’s equipment.

If the county gets federal funds, Cade would like to use those to pay for outside contractors for these jobs.