Damage costs unknown from last week’s floods

By Anthony Weber

December 26, 2013

By Melanie Yingst

Staff Writer

MIAMI COUNTY — While the flood waters have mostly receded, the damage estimates the waters left behind are still being counted.

According to Miami County Engineer Paul Huelskamp, flood damage estimates, including department overtime, will not be available until next week.

Huelskamp said all roads were clear of debris as of Thursday. County roads, including areas of Tipp-Elizabeth and Horseshoe Bend roads, were being repaired after the water damaged the asphalt. Huelskamp said the road work should be completed by today.

Huelskamp also said the department breached the levee at the Miami County Fairgrounds to release waters from the grounds after last weekend’s flooding. Huelskamp said the county department worked with the Miami County Conservancy District and fairground personnel to cut a hole in the levee near the Morgan ditch. Huelskamp said it was the third time the department has had to breech the levee at the fairgrounds.

Huelskamp said the department is “looking into different options” in regards to the efforts to keep flooding at bay in the Miami County fairgrounds area.

Huelskamp also said no damage was done to the historic Eldean Bridge during the flood.

“The bridge came out fine,” he said. The flood waters reached within a few feet from the underside of the bridge during last week’s flood which also swept a car off the road near the Eldean Bridge.

Huelskamp said approximately 48 “High Water” signs were placed around the county during the flood last weekend.

According to the Miami County website, the Miami County Engineering Department maintains 429 miles of roadway, 7,739 signs, 340 bridges, and 2,558 culverts. The department provides engineering assistance to Miami County’s 12 townships, whose workforces maintain 268 miles of roadway.

Huelskamp has been Miami County Engineer for two years and with the department since 1990.

No estimates for the flood damage from the city of Troy were available by press time.