Rain wreaks havok

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Recent rainfall in the Madison County area caused the county to close roads, place sandbags and even go so far as to declare the county a disaster area.

County records indicate that between Oct. 8 and 15, the western end of county near the Navasota River received 9.53 inches of rain; in the Midway area, 16.6 inches; in Normangee area, 9.37 inches; in the North Zulch area, 15 inches; and the area just south of Madisonville received 14.4 inches.

Weather.com reports that typically, Madison County receives 4.84 inches of rain throughout October. Statistics show that this so far this month, the area has received 13.55 inches of rain, as of Oct. 19.

According to Emergency Management Coordinator Shelly Butts, every county road in precincts 1, 2 and 4 was affected at some time or another during this event, either with water over the roads, culverts washed out, road materials washed away, or potholes.

“Many of our county roads have damage to the base of the road, as well as the gravel or coating,” Butts said. “Most of our major FM roads and highways also were affected, with several of them closed for considerable periods of time.”

Butts said the the Sheriff’s Department kept abreast of which county roads were closing and opening, as many roads would experience flooding, then drain, then repeat that cycle.

“Waldrip and other roads suffered major damage, as did the large culverts on Strawther, Waller, New and Bozeman Ferry roads,” she said. “Much rock was washed off of county roadways, and repairs will be necessary. As of Oct. 17, Bozeman Ferry Road, New Road, Bethel Cemetery Road, Wilson Shoals, and Hardy Road had active closures somewhere along the roadways.”

Butts said the county assisted CHI St. Joseph Madison in placing sandbags and were able to refer some individuals to the American Red Cross for assistance.

She also said the county is working on a disaster summary outline, which should capture estimated damages, and is seeking input for county residents. Anyone who has experienced flood waters in their home from the recent rains, should contact the Emergency Management office at (936) 348-3810.

“Several people have reported water in their homes,” she said. “We will add those damages to our report to the state. We are also working with some displaced citizens who are waiting to return to their homes, once the water recedes.”

Even though the county declared a disaster locally, there still needs to be a declaration at state level. Once that happens, the state can request assistance from FEMA.

“We believe we have met the threshold for Public Assistance, which is infrastructure, such as roads and bridges,” Butts said. “We are working with the City of Madisonville to submit their infrastructure damages and damages to homes, so that we may be considered for Individual Assistance, which is assistance to individuals for home damages. Other programs, such as the Small Business Administration Loan Program, may become available if we are included in a federal declaration.”

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