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EMA director recommends not declaring state of emergency

May 7, 2012

By Paul McManis

Commoner Journal staff writer

McARTHUR — The flood waters that closed roads, took out bridges and submerged people’s homes Friday night in Vinton County,  resulting in several evacuations and rescues, may not have caused enough damage to declare a state of emergency.

Vinton County EMA Director Jayson Potts said he traveled to the areas that were devastated by the flooding and spoke with the trustees of those areas. He said the consensus from those visits was that there may not be enough damage to declare.

“At this time my recommendation is we don’t declare,” Potts told the Vinton County Commissioners Monday. “I don’t want to give people false hope by declaring.”

Without the funds made available by such a declaration, some residents of the county may be left with little hope at all.

Commissioner Mike Bledsoe said he also visited areas where the flood damage was significant and said some places were worse than others. He said while some of those areas appeared to have had a simple rainfall, other areas looked like they had been hit by a bomb.

Bledsoe said the commissioners are well aware of the damage and said some of the residents who were hit by flooding are still recovering from damages sustained months ago in a similar flooding situation.

Bledsoe asked Potts to follow up on the damage and speak with other county officials to see if anything can be done to help the areas that were hit.

“It is a high priority for us to do everything for the residents that we can humanly do,” Bledsoe said.


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