Flood assessment and recovery top priority
February 13, 2020
DAYTON–The City of Dayton Council and the Columbia County Commissioners (BOCC) will hold a joint public meeting at the Pavilion Building at the Columbia County Fairgrounds at 6 p.m. Thursday, February 13, 2020. The intent is to field questions from the public, and give information about the process of obtaining aid and recovery. The regularly scheduled City Council meeting for Wednesday evening was cancelled and they will meet briefly at 5:30 p.m. before the joint public meeting.
The BOCC met at a special meeting on Monday, February 10, 2020, to discuss starting flood damage assessment and procedures to obtain federal funding to help in the recovery efforts with the Director of Columbia County Public Works Chuck Eaton and Columbia County Emergency Management Ashley Strickland.
The Corps of Engineers, at the request of Emergency Management for technical assistance, have already been on scene for a preliminary analysis of the damages along the Touchet River where it appears that they will have to replace a couple of miles of the levee. Eaton reported that some uninhabited portions of roads will have to be closed, likely for several months such as Harding Grade, Robinson Fork and the upper Wolf Fork. The Tucannon presently is open, but only a single lane due to eroded sections that drop off. Updates on road closures will be on the County website.
Generally, it will take time to make permanent, lasting repairs, in part due to the damage assessment that will need to be done by FEMA. In the meantime, roads affected by flooding with be repaired to be drivable. Once approved as a federal emergency declaration, FEMA will assist with infrastructure and will assess individual cases of personal damage where there isn’t coverage under private insurance.
County residents who have damages from the flood are advised to take photos of damage, and document money and time spent on repairs. This will help in getting aide from FEMA if it’s not covered under private insurance. Residents are also encouraged to get information from the Emergency Management page on the County website, from its Facebook page, or by calling the office.