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June 24, 2014 05:04 PM

Lincoln County Commission Takes First Look At Flood Damage

Canton, SD

One week after torrential rains washed away Lincoln County roads and bridges, commissioners are still trying to get a grasp on the extent of the damage.

Lincoln County needs to have at least $1.2 million in damages to be able to declare an emergency, but with the damage shown during Tuesday's County Commission meeting, county officials believe that threshold will be easily reached.

Even after one week of non-stop work, you can still find road closed signs on many Lincoln County roads. As the water goes down, the County is getting a better look at the damage, and the price tag is rising fast.

Lincoln County Emergency Manager Harold Timmerman plans to send paperwork to Pierre to declare an emergency disaster.

Right now, there's no firm figure on repairing it all, but officials do know they won't get far without additional funding.

"Get both Federal and State funding to help us with rebuilding of the roads. It will allow us to go ahead and make emergency repairs and just move the process along quicker," Lincoln County Commissioner Dennis Weeldreyer said.

One of the biggest projects is Highway 135 near Lake Alvin.  The damage will cost an estimated $150,000 to fix.  Kevin Goff of Clark Engineering has surveyed the area and hopes the County chooses a contractor who can get the work done fast.

"Obviously price is always an issue, but if we get a good price and he's going to get it fixed until the middle of August, that may not be the way we want to address this," Kevin Goff said.

Highway Superintendent Steve Williams says State and Federal funding could have a huge impact, but it won't solve all the issues, especially beyond county roads.

"I think a lot of townships are going to be hurting financially to try and get this done. There's just too much surface damage, and it's everywhere," Steve Williams said.

Still, the County is trying to patch up as much as possible as soon as possible, and officials believe smoother roads are ahead.

The County expects to have a better estimate of how much the damage will cost in time for next week's commission meeting.

If you have any damage in the Lincoln County Area, even if it's already cleaned up, you should call 211. 

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