Rough damage estimates from recent storms given to county commissioners
BENTON -- Mother Nature has hit Scott County with about $750,000 worth of damage in the last two months.
Scott County commissioners and Joel Evans, county emergency management director, discussed during the regular County Commission meeting Tuesday rough estimates for damage from the recent ice storms and flooding.
Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger said the flood hit the county twice as hard as both ice storms combined.
Burger's general assessment matched up with Evans' estimated dollar amounts for damage to the county: $250,000 from the ice storms and another $500,000 from the flood.
"These are very preliminary estimates," Burger said. "Everywhere I drive there is damage."
Burger asked Evans to arrange a meeting with Mark Winkler, coordinator for the State Emergency Management Agency's Area E, to discuss damage suffered by the county and assistance from SEMA.
"We started a countywide assessment yesterday," Evans advised commissioners. "At least 50 homes had some damage."
There was also a mobile home destroyed during an attempt to move it from Scott City area, according to Evans.
Evans said there wasn't severe damage to any particular area but widespread moderate damage throughout the county.
"The approaches to both sides of a bridge on County Road 407 were washed out," he said. "It's a wooden bridge that needs to be replaced."
The approaches to a bridge on County Road 204 near County Road 208 were also washed out with repairs estimated to run $5,000.
Road damage included damage to road surfaces, shoulders and erosion including "at least a dozen mudslides that have been cleared," Evans said. "We still have a few county roads underwater."
There were also numerous culverts washed out or displaced by erosion and water rushing over roads.
In addition, a lot of county resources intended for regular maintenance were used up as "every bit of our time, effort and materials went to flood response," Burger said. Without help from federal and state emergency management agencies, the county's road and bridge department "will be in dire straits," he said.
Burger said flood damage was worse in Scott County than it should have been because the St. John's Bayou-New Madrid Floodway Project, which would have closed a gap between levees and put in pumps, was halted and ordered reversed.
"Right now people that live in south Scott County, Miner, east of Miner, Sikeston, all feel the impact of that project not moving forward," he said. "All that water can do is back up. It is so important that the project moves forward. If we had those pumping stations going right now, we wouldn't have had that much water. It's not flowing south because the drainage system is full south."
County officials noted there are two more rains predicted in the next week as well.
In related business, Evans said county residents with wells can request free well testing kits and instructions from the Scott County Health Department. Free tetanus vaccinations for those that worked in floodwaters is also available through the county health department, he said.
Flood-related assistance will also be provided by the Red Cross in Advance through the end of the week.