LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. – Several counties in north Alabama are still waiting to hear if federal disaster assistance will be available for flood damage. Lauderdale County was left out of the original 10 counties for not meeting a monetary threshold. They have asked state EMA officials to come back to assess additional damage.
For several days in March, state and federal emergency management agents toured the Shoals looking at flood damage. While a lot of focus was placed on Colbert County and the flooding there, Lauderdale County was experiencing its own issues.
“On the public sector side, anyone who has crossed over Oneal Bridge has seen a lot of the flooding that the river had for us. And we had a few areas with some creek flooding,” explained Lauderdale County EMA Director George Grabryan.
Parts of McFarland Park were 8 feet underwater for several days. The town of Lexington had its own problems. Flood waters did several thousand dollars in damage to the park.
Further east, the small town of Anderson faced their own challenges, too. Entire trees washed into a creek causing widespread issues.
“Since they know that debris is right there in that area, and the gravel has moved around in that area, it is rerouting that creek essentially,” Grabryan described.
Town leaders are estimating it will cost more than $50,000 to clear Anderson Creek of debris; money they don’t have to spare.
The hope is a new evaluation of damage by state emergency managers will put Lauderdale County back in the running for assistance.
Lauderdale county must have $350,000 in flood related damage in the public sector before FEMA assistance can be requested. Following the first inspection by agents, they were sitting at $300,000.