Hurricane Isaac brought strong rains in September, leaving much of Dallas County damaged. Thanks to state funding, some of that damage will be addressed. --file photo
Hurricane Isaac brought strong rains in September, leaving much of Dallas County damaged. Thanks to state funding, some of that damage will be addressed. -- file photo

Gov. Bentley grants county hazard mitigation funding

Published 9:05pm Friday, August 2, 2013

Governor Robert Bentley announced this week multiple counties across Alabama will be granted hazard mitigation funds as a result of the federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Isaac, which swept through the area in September 2012.

Eight Alabama counties, including Dallas County were granted more than $900,000 in funds.

Dallas County will receive $56,166.06, and the Dallas County Commission, with the help of the Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee, will decide how to spend the funds.

Gov. Bentley said Alabama is no stranger to the effects of a natural disaster and noted for Dallas County, the priority for the mitigation funds are individual and community safe rooms.

“We’ve learned that preparedness is the key to surviving the effects of a storm,” Bentley said. “These funds will allow our residents to be better prepared for the next time a devastating storm hits Alabama.”

Rhonda Abbott, director of the Dallas County Emergency Management Agency, said Dallas County was included in the funding because the county was declared a disaster area following the flooding issues experienced in September from Hurricane Isaac.

“The flash flooding devastated people all across Dallas County,” she said.

The funds will be used not for residential home repairs but rather safe rooms, storm shelters or any type of mitigation project that the county sees fit.

Mitigation projects can include anything from sirens, residential storm shelters and road repair. Anything that will make an area safer than it was before.

Abbott noted there are several roads in the county that flood and have to be closed every time it rains, creating a hindrance to the residents who live on those roads, so the county commission will have a lot of options to sort through before deciding on which projects deserve the most attention.

“Ultimately the commission, they know what’s out there they know where we need to do mitigation projects and ultimately they will decide how the money will be spent in Dallas County,” Abbott said.

The commission will discuss the possible projects and possibly make a decision at the commission meeting Aug. 12. The county must send a letter of intent back to the state by Sept. 1 regarding how the funds will be used.

Other counties included in the funding include: Baldwin County with $432,184.59; Covington County with $125,855.53; Geneva County with $70,657.75; Mobile County with $203,736.17; Monroe County with $17,139.05; Perry County $14,845.44; Pickens County with $24,818.42.

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