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Genoans discuss disaster work

by Kurt Hildebrand

County officials are doing detailed evaluations of damage caused by the New Year’s flood.

Genoans discussed the coming evaluation at a meeting on Tuesday.



Town board members expressed concern that a list of damage received by the county on Tuesday only reflected half of the projects listed in the preliminary damage report.

County employees Craig McNeil and Harry Robb will be conducting the detailed evaluation.



McNeil said the county’s list is based on information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and is not set in stone.

More than $100,000 in projects are listed in the truncated list.

Bill Brooks, who is coordinating Genoa’s disaster response, said the more detailed examination will attach both repair and mitigation costs to projects sent to FEMA. Douglas County serves as the applicant for all flood damage reports and Robb serves as coordinator for the county.

Brooks said the $1.6 million initial damage reports came out of a quick tour disaster officials made of Douglas County.

He said they know there are some things missing from the reports and that the follow-up examination will help fill in the blanks.

McNeil, an associate civil engineer working for the county, said the federal government will not only fix damage from flooding, but find ways to prevent future damage.

McNeil pointed out that the flood which hit on Dec. 31, 2005, varied in size depending on what part of the Valley it hit.

“Some areas had a 5-year flood, some had a 25-year flood, some had a 100-year flood and some had a 500-year flood,” he said.

The time refers to the probability a certain size flood will occur in any given year. McNeil pointed out that while a 100-year flood would be the largest flood in any given century, 100-year floods could occur one after another.

“The Valley has unique storm events,” he said. “Our best determination is that Genoa experienced a 100-year flood.”

Town board members said they wanted to make sure everyone had an updated list of the town’s damage.

“We want to make sure the federal government, the county and town are all on the same page,” said Town Board Chairman Bill Donohoe.