The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners was briefed Monday evening by Interim County Manager Martha Lide on the impact of the recent flooding disaster in the area.
An estimated 9 to 12 inches of rain fell the weekend of July 27 and 28, resulting in multiple road closures from flooding, particularly in the western parts of the county.
Overall, the storm brought about 32 trillion gallons of rainfall, roughly equal to 10 bodies of water the size of Lake Norman, Lide said. The South Fork of the Catawba River’s water level was 17 feet above normal.
Damage so far has been reported for an estimated four to 15 homes and to one commercial structure in the county. Within city limits, Lincolnton officials are still in the process of assessing damage to residential property. Two public facilities, including Betty Ross Park and a water-treatment plant, were severely impacted.
While no injuries were reported from the storm, some animals were lost.
Gov. Pat McCrory, who toured Lincoln and Catawba counties last Tuesday to assess the aftermath of the flooding, has requested a disaster declaration by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) so flood victims in Catawba and the adjacent counties of Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Iredell, Lincoln and Mecklenburg can apply for financial assistance, his office announced Friday.
If the disaster request is granted, the SBA will make low-interest loans available to citizens and business owners affected by the storm to repair or replace damaged real estate.
Following Lide’s presentation, commissioners voted to remove the local emergency declaration, as is standard procedure, and to waive permit fees for any homes or businesses impacted by the disaster.
They also took time to commend her and all emergency personnel who responded to the flooding event.
“I knew it was bad … but I didn’t know it was this bad,” Commissioner Carl Robinson said.
An organized response effort “doesn’t happen without great leadership,” he added.
Chairman Alex Patton noted that all involved had done a “fabulous job,” while Commissioner Carrol Mitchem, who lives in hard-hit Vale, said they were “very responsive on very short notice.”
Patton also said the North Carolina Department of Transportation was making “good progress” on repairing damaged roadways.
To report damage to personal property, call the county’s Planning and Inspections Department at (704) 736-8440 or fill out an online form at: www.lincolncounty.org/forms.aspx?fid=88.