Wiregrass Newsroom: County damage estimates in the millions

Reporter: Melissa McKinney

GENEVA, AL (WSFA) -- The sights and sounds of heavy rain may be gone, but counties down south are, no doubt, still feeling the effects.

"It's going to take a long time I'm sure, for all this repair to happen", says Geneva County EMA director, Margaret Mixon.

Nearly 17 inches fell in Geneva county over the course of the three day rain storm.   And now, all that rain is adding up to more than $10 million dollars in damage to roads, bridges and public buildings.

Governor Riley asked President Obama to declare 20 counties in Alabama major disaster areas in order to receive federal assistance funds.  For counties like Geneva, the assistance is much needed.

"Almost every dirt road that we have in the county had major major damage to them," says Mixon.

One of the hardest hit areas in Geneva county wasn't a road or a bridge, but the Wiregrass Medical Center.   Flood damage there accounts for 1/3 of Geneva county's $10 million dollars worth of damage.

Crews at the medical center have gutted more than 40 rooms affected by flood waters.

"All of our business offices that had carpet, the furniture that absorbed water, was damaged.   We had computers and electronic components damaged," says Wiregrass Medical Center CEO, John Rainey.

Across the Wiregrass in Covington county, FEMA officials estimate $3 million dollars worth of damage.   In Dale county, $1.1 million.   Henry county estimates reach $400,000 dollars. Both Houston and Coffee counties have yet to receive estimates.   But EMA directors expect $3-5 million in Houston county and about $500,000 dollars worth in Coffee.

Only a portion of these costs would be covered by FEMA and the state  - if assistance is granted.   Each county or individual is left to pay 15% of the damage. That's $1.5 million dollars for Geneva county.

"We have just very little money to work with when it comes to repairing roads.   I don't know what we would do without the declaration," says Mixon.

It's a region hoping for some much needed help.