Local leaders working on getting a disaster declaration

Posted by: Bryan Henry - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - enter body copy here.

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The floods came in a flash.

"The water came, the water went," said Mayor Todd Strange.

4 days after the fact, people are still cleaning and drying out while city officials press forward with trying to get a disaster area declared.

"Our people are in the field right now," said Mayor Strange.

Montgomery County EMA Director Steve Jones outlined what's being done and what needs to be done to get the President of the United States to sign off on it. It's no easy process.

"We have in Montgomery requested through the state to get a post-assessment down here and look at the damage in Montgomery County. They will report to the Governor and the Governor will forward it on to the President," said Steven Jones.

On the local level Jones says the first steps have already been taken; the fly-over and drive throughs. Jones is encouraging flood victims to keep calling the 311 information line and give a synopsis of the damage to their home and property. The 311 number may not work on some cell phones. An alternative number is 240-4636.

While there is no threshold to get an area declared a disaster on people's homes and property, the mayor is confident once state and federal officials look at what happened last week, there will be no debate.

"I believe there is a high degree of probability that this will go through. We had a 100 plus year flood and more than 9 inches of rain," said Mayor Strange.

The mayor couldn't make any promises but believes Governor Bob Riley will get all the necessary paperwork this week and forward it on to President Barack Obama next week.

Somewhere between 750 and 1,000 homes were damaged by the flash floods.