Storm damage tops $1 million
County waiting on FEMA assessment, federal funds
KINGMAN - Mohave County will have to wait in line with the rest of the state for federal aid to clean up last week's storm damage. Mohave County declared a flood emergency last Friday when the storms washed out roads along the Big Sandy River and caused extensive damage to other parts of the county.
"We're estimating damage in excess of $1 million to county infrastructure," said County Emergency Management Coordinator Byron Steward. That's well over the half-million dollar Federal Emergency Management Agency threshold for a disaster area declaration for a county the size of Mohave, he said.
FEMA has already declared Apache, Coconino and Navajo counties, along with the Hopi and Navajo nations as humanitarian disaster areas.
Mohave County sent its Emergency Management Communications trailer to the Holbrook area, near the Hopi and Navajo nations, in order to help, Steward said.
Gov. Jan Brewer declared the whole state a disaster area last week.
Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons has sent three Nevada National Guard helicopters to the Flagstaff area to help with cleanup and assessment in that area.
FEMA and the Arizona Department of Emergency Management will make their way to Mohave County sometime this week to assess the damage before making a decision.
Emergency Management and Public Works department crews are still trying to get to the remotest sections of the county to get a full idea of the damage. The departments are still getting reports of private property damage from home and business owners, but those damage reports don't appear to be as bad as the county feared, Steward said.
He estimated it would take weeks and possibly months to repair some roads and other county infrastructure that washed away.
"The roads are our first priority," he said. County road crews have already temporarily repaired and reopened a number of roads. Permanent repairs to areas such as roads and wash crossings near the Big Sandy River will have to wait until FEMA and the ADEM arrive to assess the situation.
Steward said the county is already getting prepare for the next big storm, which is supposed to hit the area this week.