Good news for River Region counties hit by storm

WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - In the Wetumpka Civic Center, Elmore County engineer Ritchie Beyer delivered some much-needed good news to some local officials from Elmore and Tallapoosa Counties.

"We just got word that we can use the U.S. Corp of Engineers to handle all the clean up. The county won't have to pay a dime in debris removal costs," said Beyer.

That is a significant development when you consider Elmore County has 65 miles of roads affected by the storm, 200 homes severely damaged or destroyed, and another 140 homes with minor damage.

Before Tuesday morning's meeting the county thought it would have to dole out 10% or $500,000 toward the overall clean up costs.. not so.

In the spirit of helping each other Wetumpka mayor Jerry Willis is offering the city's landfill to help bury the debris, a move that could cost Wetumpka upwards of $25,000 but the mayor would first need city council approval.

"We believe this would be a good service and we're working towards that," said Mayor Willis.

While mayors, county commissioners and engineers discussed dollars, landfills and damaged areas, Tallassee mayor George McCain pointed out this group shouldn't neglect the spiritual component; do its part along the way to give encouragement. The mayor says he did just that over the weekend in Eclectic.

"We have to remember Job when he lost everything in a day. We have to trust the Lord. Sometimes we don't understand it," said Mayor McCain.

The Elmore County Commission unanimously voted to make the request to the U.S. Corp of Engineers for help.

Meantime, Governor Robert Bentley announced that for the next 30 days.. the state will pay for the local government's share of non-federal cost of any debris clean-up, regardless if that government uses the corp or a private contractor.

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