County roads now passable

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 9, 2004

Lincoln County officials reported good progress in reopeningroads and in recovery efforts following Thursday’s storm.

According to a preliminary damage assessment sent to the stateFriday, six homes sustained major damage in the storm while twohomes and an apartment building had minor damage. Fifteen homes andtwo apartments were damaged, but the extent was not known.

Also, three business had minor damage and a church saw majordamage.

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“The difference in major and minor is that to be major, it mustneed extensive work or is inoperable or unlivable,” said LeaStokes, public information coordinator for the MississippiEmergency Management Agency (MEMA).

Lincoln County Civil Defense Director Clifford Galey saidhomeowners and business owners who had damage and had not beencontacted should call his office beginning Monday morning. Thenumber if 833-8561.

“Evidently, there were quite a few more in the city that wehaven’t talked to,” Galey said.

Galey said a property damage estimate had not been made. Heindicated it would depend on what additional damage is reportedfrom homeowners and from road and bridge checks after the water hasreceded.

The storm dropped approximately 10 inches of rain, with theheaviest coming late Thursday morning.

“It came up so fast, people didn’t expect it,” Galey said. “Wehad a true flash flood Thursday.”

In addition to local states of emergency, Gov. Haley Barbour hasdeclared a state of emergency for 15 counties affected by thestorm, including Lincoln, Lawrence and Franklin counties.

According to Lincoln County’s preliminary assessment, 20 roadshad minor damage and 18 had major damage. Seven bridges sustainedminor damage.

By Saturday afternoon, Lincoln County supervisors said mostroads had been reopened.

“We’ve got a lot more work to do, but our roads are passableagain,” said District Four Supervisor W.D. “Doug” Moak.

Moak said he had removed “Road Closed” signs from Johnson Grove,Big Creek Road and Montgomery. While roads across the county wereopen, Moak urged motorists to continue to use caution whentraveling.

“It’s not extremely dangerous, but they just need to becareful,” Moak said.

District Three Supervisor Nolan Earl Williamson, whose area hasat least seven closed roads, said all but one were open. However,in some cases, traffic may be limited to one lane of traffic.

“After today, I’ll probably have just South Washington Streetclosed,” Williamson said.

Williamson also sounded another word of warning because ofthefts of road signs.

“I can’t keep signs up,” he said. “Somebody’s going to get hurtor killed because someone’s stolen a sign.”

In Lawrence County, two homes and a mobile home had minor damageand several roads were flooded. In Franklin County, 10 roads wereclosed due to flooding and eight roads were closed because ofdamage.

Regarding declarations, Galey explained that a state ofemergency is not the same as a disaster declaration.

State of emergency declarations allow cities or counties toreceive assistance from other cities and counties under the StateMutual Aid Compact (SMAC).

There are two types of disaster assistance declarations: one tohelp individuals and a public assistance declaration that wouldassist government entities in their recovery.

Neither has been made. Galey said declarations would depend onlocal and statewide damage totals once they are determined.

“If anything was to happen, it wouldn’t happen until next week,”Galey said Saturday.