ROCKINGHAM — With Hurricane Florence in the rear view mirror, county officials have a clearer look at the damage to infrastructure and property.
County Planner Tracy Parris told commissioners this week that more than 90 homes sustained some level of damage, cautioning that assessments are not yet complete. Parris also touted the CrisisTrack system, which allows residents to report damage easily and for county assessors to more efficiently handle the reports.
“At the time Hurricane Matthew came through, this was all handled by pen and paper tracking, so you can imagine if we were not spared and we were having to comprise these numbers in other counties such as (harder hit) Brunswick and Carteret counties,” Parris said.
Parris said about $1.3 million in damage had been reported by Tuesday.
Anyone who still has not reported damage to a home may do so at www.crisistrack.com/…/richmondNC/citizenRequest.html.
Department of Social Services Director Robby Hall also updated the county on emergency food benefits provided to Richmond County residents.
In three days since the D-SNAP benefits had been available, 3,906 residents applied and 2,677 were approved, he said. The average benefit amount for a three-person household is $504. The estimated fund approved through D-SNAP is $1.3 million.
Homes were not the only things damaged. For example, the heavy flow of Hitchcock Creek threatened the von Drehle plant in Cordova.
County Manager Bryan Land said the water was about two feet from entering the plant and would have “totally eliminated” its electrical systems had it done so. Significant erosion occurred about 10 feet from the corner of the plant closest to the creek, which contractors filled with stone after the flooding.
Holly Grove Church Road suffered some of the worst damage in the county.
Land said Naked Creek overflowed its banks and “blew the entire roadway out.” The road remains closed, with the N.C. Department of Transportation estimating repairs will not be completed until November.
Hitchcock Creek also eroded a chunk of Nicholson Road and dislodged the waterline underneath — a line that serves 50 percent of the county’s water system. Land said that despite the centrality of the line, fewer than 10 county water customers lost water service, while others experienced weakened water pressure for about two days.
County workers put in a temporary line, then replaced the waterline by the end of the week following the storm.
It may take NCDOT months to repair the roadway.
Land described a strange situation that occurred on Grassy Island Road, where a nearby property recently had been clear cut of trees. The lumber, which had been felled but not removed, washed onto the road, shutting it down.
Land said NCDOT crew still were hauling away the timber, storing it at a debris site set up at the Hoffman Recreation Center because of a lack of space at the county landfill.
A portion of the Everetts Mill Pond dam on U.S. 1 South also washed out.
A concrete dam guides the water from the pond to Marks Creek, but the elevated flows washed out the earth next to the dam, Land said.
On Osborne Road near U.S. 1 South, a thin strip of road on the left and right sides washed away. NCDOT should have this section of road completed and open this week.
Sandhill Road and Blewett Falls Road underwent flooding, which subsided shortly after the storm ended.
Everetts Mill Road is open, but NCDOT will perform minor work on the shoulder.
County Line Road is open, but the shoulder is being repaired there, also.
Derby Road also remains open but will be subject to more paving work.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]