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Latest Damage Assessments: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission// Lt. Brian Lambert

Santa Rosa County

Damage assessments from last week’s storms continue to roll in. Looking at private property, Escambia is now reporting more than 3,200 homes damaged, with 13 destroyed; 117 businesses were damaged. Okaloosa is reporting a $3.3 million in damage to at least 285 homes. For more on Santa Rosa County, WUWF’s Sandra Averhart spoke to Property Appraiser Greg Brown.

Property Appraiser Greg Brown and staff have been conducting damage assessments for the county for those properties affected by the recent rain and subsequent flooding that took place in Santa Rosa County.  Brown has an informal agreement with the county to conduct the damage assessments. Through yesterday, May 5th, they have inspected nearly 500 homes that have been affected with an estimated $8.1 million in damage. These estimates do not include cars or personal belongings, preliminary damage estimates indicate Santa Rosa County has met the state and federal guidelines for individual assistance for residents and businesses pending a federal disaster declaration.  (You can find the latest Flood Update at www.santarosa.fl.gov/news.)

Brown said “I volunteered this office to assist the county in making damage assessments because it only makes sense to me to partner with other county offices to help the citizens of Santa Rosa County at times like these.  We make valuations each year on every property in the county, so we should be able to assist when a disaster strikes our county in determining the amount of damage that has occurred.”   Brown continued to say “While this office conducts the damage assessment it allows other county personnel to concentrate in their areas of expertise and assist citizens in those areas of critical need.  I and every field appraiser in this office are conducting damage assessments to determine the level of damage this county experienced recently.”

If you have flood damage and have not reported your damage, please do so. Brown says,  “This event is different than a tropical event because, as an example, in Hurricane Ivan we could drive down a road and see the damage and knew where to concentrate our efforts.  Unless there is carpet or sheetrock in front of a house we might not be able to tell if a house had water inside.  So help us help you by letting us know if you had damage”

If you have taken pictures of your damage, please send them along with your report to the county.  You can report your damage to the county at www.santarosa.fl.gov.  The county will forward the information on to the property appraiser’s office for their review.

Additionally, some public facilities in Santa Rosa County have been effected. The Gulf Breeze Library will be closed until further notice and its parking lot is being used as a staging area for clean up.

For information on help with cleanup, road closures, food distribution, and other recovery information visit www.santarosa.fl.gov or follow Santa Rosa County on Twitter at @SRCBOCC.

Escambia County

As of this morning, in Escambia County more than 3,200 homes were damaged and 13 destroyed. One hundred seventeen commercial businesses were damaged. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 1687 residential homes with major damage with 12 inches of water or more
  • 1518 residential homes have received minor damaged with 12 inches or water or less
  • 13 residential homes destroyed
  • 117 commercial businesses have been majorly damaged with more than 12 inches of water

County Engineering crews continue to work to assess damage to roads, bridges and drainage systems. Current estimates place damage to this infrastructure at approximately $21 million. This figure is expected to increase as assessments continue.

Residents who have not reported street flooding or drainage problems are encouraged to call the Citizens Information Center (CIC) at (850) 471-6600.

For road closure and shelter information check BeReadyEscambia.com.

The City of Pensacola has also set up a recovery website.

Okaloosa County

Okaloosa County and its municipalities met with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), on Tuesday for a preliminary damage assessment from the April 30 rain event. FEMA is continuing to tour the area and we encourage residents to report damage by calling the Okaloosa County Citizens Information Line, 311. Additionally, you can report damage online at the following link: http://www.co.okaloosa.fl.us/flood_info.html.

Preliminary damage assessment for Okaloosa County is estimated at $12.4 million. Details below:

·         $9.1 Million public infrastructure (facilities, roads, storm water, etc.)

·         $3.3 Million in damage to 285 homes reported

For more information or to report damage, call 311 or visit www.okaloosafl.com.