County: Flooding Solution Not Immediate

By: Stan Torgerson
By: Stan Torgerson

Lauderdale County has finished tabulating the bill for two severe floods in April. County officials will present the total to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for partial repayment.

"The total is $611,943.59. We anticipate getting from FEMA about a little over $400,000," said county engineer Neal Carson.

FEMA pays 75 percent of the cost, while the state and county divide the other 25 percent. The amount adds up to about $75,000 each. Also Thursday, Eagle Pointe residents, disturbed by what they see as a failure by the Board of Supervisors to respond to a flooding problem, presented their concerns at a work session Thursday.

"The residents of Eagle Pointe do not feel the county is making any corrective actions in a timely fashion. It took five months to draft the letter to FEMA and more months for the county to respond to the residents after numerous requests. We're a ticking time bomb and time is not on our side," said Eagle Point resident Teri McKelvane. "We've also heard that we're not to expect actions until next year and we can't afford to wait until next year."

Another resident told the supervisors the water of the April floods went over the top of her six-foot privacy fence, entered her house and ruined it.

"I just want to make sure that every time it rains I can sleep at night, because there's nothing like being awakened at 4:30 in the morning and emergency people waking you up and you hit the floor and you're standing knee deep in water," said Kathy Vick.

The supervisors said they would contact the Corps of Engineers and ask for help.

"This one issue is a lot of money and throughout the county is a ton of money that needs to be spent if we're going to eliminate we're not going to eliminate flooding, but if we're going to better the situation," said board president Craig Hitt.

"We know we have a problem at Eagle Pointe," said resident Charles McElroy. "Lauderdale County's got a flood problem and we need the corps involved in this thing now."

When the meeting ended both McKelvane and Vick indicated disappointment.

"I didn't get the impression that they're going to do anything, short term," said McElvane.

"You know, our needs are simple. We just need something done immediately," said Vick.

But board members indicated, solutions were long term and no immediate action was contemplated.


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