, Ore. (KMTR) -- As some Lane County
residents continue picking up the pieces following last week’s heavy rain and severe flooding, county commissioners and emergency managers are taking the next steps to help with the recovery.
Lane County Commissioners are set to tour the damage in Mapleton on Monday, January 23rd, 2012, while emergency managers have until Friday to submit damage estimates to the State of Oregon.
County employees have already started to look for the problems that the flood waters and high winds have caused. Those include everything from road issues to utility problems, also any water damage to schools, police and fire stations and equipment and more.
The hope is to get federal funds to reimburse the county and residents.
While storm damage costs can add up the funding isn’t always guaranteed.
In March 2011, a severe wind storm ripped through Lane County causing more than 1.2 million dollars in damage to county infrastructure. But because the state did not declare a state of disaster or emergency after the storm and because the damage was contained to two counties, Lane County did not receive any reimbursement after that storm.
Lane County has to total damages more than 1.2 million dollars in order to qualify for reimbursement.
The other hurdle has already been cleared, as the State of Oregon has already declared a disaster / emergency for Oregon. Damages typically have to total more than around 4 million dollars to do that.
“Once we have officially declared an emergency for Lane County, we'll be doing public education and outreach to know what we need from them to contribute to this process,” says Linda Cook, Emergency Manager for Lane County.
With another storm expected on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012, Cook says now is the time for residents to evaluate what’s happened and prepare for more damage.
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” says Cook.
“If you've been putting off taking care of an evaluation of your property, evaluate your property, bring things inside, elevate them if you need to, please be mindful of what's happening to your property and take precaution,” says Cook.
While flood waters have mostly receded across Oregon, high water is still expected on many rivers in Willamette Valley basin. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of release water from 13 of its dams. That process should continue through Sunday evening and possibly until Tuesday.
The last time federal money was distributed for emergency relief in Lane County happened after the 1996 flood. Several Mapleton area residents were able to raise their homes on stilts to avoid future flood damage. That work appears to have helped several residents along Riverview Avenue in Mapleton in 2012.