Lee Co. storm clean up to cost up to $15,000 - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co. storm clean up to cost up to $15,000

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Storm damage estimates are in for Lee County. More than a half dozen washed out roads will cost the county nearly $15,000 to fix.

Crews spent the weekend trying to make those dirt roads driveable again. The heavy rains again pointed out a need for storm water improvements in Leesburg and Lee County. Engineers say they're working on it. Public Works would like to see a couple more weather days like Monday, plenty of sun and wind to help dry out the ground. Monday they were going back over the damage and again looking at areas like the intersection here at Highway 19 and Robert B. Lee Drive where it was obvious work needs to be done.

Old Leslie Road in Lee County looks more like a miniature scale of the grand canyon after heavy rain cleared out a whole section making the road impassable.

"The road on Old Leslie Road, we're going to try to get started on it in the morning, the water finally went down to where we can start doing repairs," said Mike Sistrunk, Lee County Interim Public Works Director.

It's the worst of a half dozen Lee County roads washed away in more than six inches of rain. The pipe must be repaired with the roadway, a cost the tight budgeted county didn't anticipate.

"Our rock material cost us about 17 dollars a ton, and one truck can haul 16 tons of material so when you're looking at 10 truck loads of material to fix one road, you're talk about several thousand dollars," said Sistrunk.

In 2000, Lee County started on a storm water master plan. The cost has grown to around two million dollars today and more is needed to complete the work.

"If the voters approve it we'll probably have additional funds in the next sales tax," said Bob Alexander, Lee County Planning & Engineering Director.

They're working with Leesburg to reroute storm water away from area like Park Drive and the Stonegate Manor Apartments by relocating storm water runoff behind the senior center.

"The funds are there and I think it's a matter of the engineers as they move forward with their designs and studies to be able to coordinate their efforts and hopefully we'll have solutions to this downtown area and US 19 and Robert B Lee," said Alexander.

Engineers hope that will keeping storm water from building up in neighborhoods and washing out dozens of roadways. Engineers say at Lee County's next commission meeting they'll be talking about FEMA's updated flood maps, and a number of Lee County homes and neighborhoods that have been added to flood prone areas.

County engineers say Lee County's development boom aggravated the flooding situation, but they require developers to include storm water plans in any new Lee County building projects.

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