SCIOTO — During its Thursday regular session, the Scioto County Commissioners detailed the county’s response to the Ohio River flooding this week and reviewed 13 items on its agenda.
Whether that be a financial or structural impact, the full scope of the flooding is not known yet. What is known is the amount of flooding, whereas the Scioto Emergency Management Agency reported that the river rose to slightly above 56 feet Wednesday at the Portsmouth river stage.
“It seems like, no pun intended that we weathered that event,” said Commissioner Bryan Davis, who spoke with Scioto EMA Director Larry Mullins before the meeting. It appears the costs will be low enough to prevent it from being declared a disaster.
Flash flooding is separate from the flooding transpiring. Currently, Davis says the county’s expenses during the flash flooding are quite minimal and focuses on cleaning out culverts.
No definitive sum could be ascertained as of March 4, although increased individual personal property claims are likely. Davis said the typical trouble spots, which are more commonly affected by flooding, will probably be among the community members making claims.
“It takes time to assess,” he said, where conversations need to take place with the townships, villages, and city. Portsmouth, Davis expects, had higher expenses due to its work in putting up the flood gates.
This “unique” situation, where flooding was also reported in new spots, Davis said, was due to the county experiencing an actual winter. With highly saturated grounds and high water tables, the water had nowhere to go but up.
Still, the ordeal could have been worse.
“I don’t even believe this event hits the top 10 of what we’ve dealt with in the past,” said Davis. “But it’s still serious and an aggravation to several people. We’re really glad and blessed that we didn’t have any loss of life.”
“We’re a resilient people and we’ll rebuild.”
As for on the agenda, the board reviewed a resolution involving the Sanitary Engineer Office and the authorization to advertise for requests for qualifications and proposals in the 2021 Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program.
The commissioners voted to allow Engineer J.P. Pickelsimer to reimburse overpayments of $150 or less without their permission to increase efficiency.
“We totally trust his discretion on that and this will actually make the process more efficient,” said Davis.
With the CHIP Program, administered at the courthouse, the work focuses on remodeling and rehabbing homes. Over the years, Davis said the program has worked on roughly 40 homes and is about assisting the low to middle-income earners.
The board entered into an executive session to address a matter involving a public employee. Following the 53-minute closed doors conversation, the vote was made for no action at this time.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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