Habersham Continues Storm Cleanup, Still Under State of Emergency

As clean-up and restorative efforts continue to take place across Habersham County, a local state of emergency order is still in place due to the excessive flooding experienced county-wide over the weekend with some areas reporting upwards of 10 inches of rain.

The local state of emergency signed by the County Commission Chairman gives the authority to make emergency purchases, evoke local ordinances, and access GEMA and FEMA funds and grants if certain economic damage thresholds are met. Georgia Department Of Transportation staff is in the process of surveying county roads to determine an estimated cost of repair.

Once calculations for roads affected by Hurricane Delta's rainfall are complete, the Governor’s office will determine whether to issue a Georgia state of emergency order, which will then activate FEMA response. This will enable potential grant funds to become available to help reimburse the county and cities for costs to repair roads, bridges, and other structures.

Over 60 roads in the county have been affected in some way, not including roads located inside the cities. Roads are closed are impassible at the following locations:

•           Waco Smith Rd – Due to be complete 10/13

•           Earnest Dover– Due to be complete 10/13

•           East Mize Rd– Due to be complete 10/13

•           Creasy Patch off Mud Creek– Due to be complete 10/16

•           New Liberty – Open, but still needs repairs

•           Beaver Dam Rd– Due to be complete 10/13

•           Amys Creek Road x 2 – Not yet repaired

•           Hazelwood/Hazel Creek– Due to be complete 10/16

•           Yonah Post Rd– Due to be complete 10/13

•           Turnerville Circle– Due to be complete 10/13

•           Thompson Rd/Wilbanks– Due to be complete 10/13

•           Gil Strap/Grainesville – Not yet repaired

•           Paradise Park Rd. – Private Rd.

•           Soque Trail – Private Rd.

•           Twisting Ridge Trail – Private Rd.

•           Cross Creek Trail – Private Rd.

•           Foggy Creek Ln – Private Rd.

•           Old River/Old Timber - Private

County officials are looking at the quickest way to get roads back open. Various County departments are closely working together throughout this process. Road maintenance crews are working seven days a week in conjunction with private contractors to make road repairs. The emphasis of repairs are focused to reopening roads that are a single point of access to residences and farms. The most critical issue at this point is giving all residents and businesses access to the road network, said a Tuesday release from the county commission office.

During the storm, at least 20 people were rescued by boat from flooded structures including mobile homes and houses that were damaged by water infiltration. A Voluntary Evacuation Notice was put into place on Sunday, October 11. Approximately 70 residents along the Chattahoochee River were asked to temporarily vacate their residences due to deterioration to a private dam structure in White County.

The county says it expects to have all roads and bridges passable by the end of this week, particularly those roads that provide a single point of access. Public Works officials say they are focused on making needed repairs the quickest way possible at the lowest reasonable costs.