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Costly cleanup

County seeking state aid

POSTED: August 14, 2013 4:00 a.m.
Amanda Head Dawson Community News/

Emergency workers assess flood damage along Lumpkin Campground Road after heavy rain Aug. 7. Thunderstorms dumped as much as 10 inches of rain in some parts of Dawson County and led to the closure of River Park on Hwy. 9 at the Etowah River, which crested at nearly 15.5 feet.

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Officials are hoping emergency aid is available to repair some of the damage caused by heavy thunderstorms that dropped as much as 10 inches of rain in parts of Dawson County last week.

Both the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the Georgia Department of Transportation have requested information about the damage and repair cost estimates, according to County Manager Cindy Campbell.

"Public Works Director David Headley and County Engineer Corey Gutherie, along with Emergency Services Director Billy Thurmond, are working together to identify all the damage caused by the flooding and forward that information to [the state]," she said.

Preliminary assessments indicate that 27 locations across the county sustained varying degrees of damage Aug. 7. While exact figures are not known, Campbell said, officials "do have a plan in place to make some of those repairs."


Among the roads affected by flooding were Harry Sosebee, between Lumpkin Campground and Black's Mill, Joe Chester, Holcomb and Little Mountain, Pine Bridge Drive, Thompson at Hwy. 53 and Cowart.

Flooding also occurred along the Etowah River at River Park on Hwy. 9 South. Both the canoe put-in parking lot and adjacent dog walking facility were closed.

Dawson County Chief of Emergency Services Lanier Swafford said the river's flood stage is at 13 feet.

According to National Weather Service reports, it crested at 15.5 feet after last week's rain.

"Across the county, the rain gauges ranged from 6 inches in some areas to as much as 10 inches," Swafford said.

Crews began responding to emergency road conditions in the early morning hours of Aug. 7 and worked throughout the day to make repairs and move fallen trees.

It was the second major weather system to cause severe flooding and costly repairs in Dawson this summer.

The county suffered nearly $600,000 in damage during a May 19 storm that dumped more than 6 inches of rain in less than seven hours and resulted in several road closings.

The DOT later approved $200,000 in emergency funding, through the state's 2013 Emergency Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant, to repair road and culvert damage.

The flooding also washed away a gravel portion of Etowah River Road, which remains closed due to its $500,000 estimated repair cost, commissioners have said.


 

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