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FEMA repairs progressing despite recent rains

The latest round of heavy rains in the area has turned the Ohio River a murky brown and altered slightly the schedule to repair massive damage done by last year’s flooding.

However overall the repair work on the county roadway infrastructure continues on course.

“Because of high water in the Aid area that has delayed doing some of the work on landslide repair,” County Engineer Doug Cade said.

Yet 70 percent of the landslide repairs are complete and about 30 percent of bridge repair or replacement work is completed, all caused by heavy rains a year ago in May.

But weekend rains meant county crews spent part of Monday clearing trees off of the roadways.

“It was not really wind-related but more saturated ground,” Cade said.

The floods of 2011 caused approximately $12 million in damages either in hillsides flowing onto county roads or bridges washed away. The majority of the projects from that damage will receive funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that will cover 75 percent of the cost.

Earlier in the year FEMA investigators came to the county multiple times to look over the damaged sites consolidating them into 187 projects. Some of the projects were also eligible for funding from the Natural Resource Conservation Service or the Federal Highway Administration.

Among those will be two slides on County Road 15 at the 7-mile marker and County Road 4 at the 4.5-mile marker. Both are expected to be put out to bid soon at a cost of $400,000 each. County crews will handle most of the projects but larger projects will be contracted out.

On top of last spring’s damage county crews are also contending with new landslides including one on County Road 118.

“It has been slowly, steadily increasing in size,” Cade said. “All of our landslides are growing day by day. We are going as fast as we can to stabilize and repair new ones that are forming. Some of becoming larger than expected.”