DeKalb County officials assess damage left by flooding, fear some roads can’t be fixed for some time

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FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Crews across north Alabama are still assessing the damage left by flooding. In DeKalb County, multiple roads remain closed and county leaders are responding, looking at the situation now and a plan for the future.

DeKalb County EMA Director Anthony Clifton is working with officials across the county to monitor the roads. "We have 22 roads which have sustained significant damage," Clifton explains, "Twenty-two roads that are still closed right now, and will be for quite some time."

Clifton and other county officials met Wednesday to discuss the situation. "Of course for us the question is do we have enough damage to meet the threshold to request help from FEMA," Clifton says.

DeKalb County has to reach about $254,000 in damages as part of the start of the process for aid. Officials say they believe the county has exceeded the threshold to acquire  assistance, although that assistance isn't guaranteed. This is the beginning of the process for federal aid.

EMA officials say it could take months before the damaged roads can be fixed. "The problem of it is, we are in the winter, the wet season is coming up in the spring, so it could be summer before some of these roads are actually fixed, which is going to create a whole new set of problems," Clifton explains.

Clifton says overall, there are a lot of questions that need answers. "This is not nearly as simple as 'we've got a bunch of debris out here from a tornado and we've got damaged houses,' this is an ongoing evaluation," Clifton explains.

The EMA is asking any resident who has damage to report it to the office.