Allendale County undergoes preliminary damage assessment by FEMA

In Allendale County, a little more than an hour southeast of Augusta, hundreds of people are still without power and a boil water advisory is in effect.
In Allendale County, a little more than an hour southeast of Augusta, hundreds of people are still without power and a boil water advisory is in effect.

ALLENDALE, S.C. (WJBF)- In Allendale County, a little more than an hour southeast of Augusta, hundreds of people are still without power and a boil water advisory is in effect.

Hurricane Matthew swept through Allendale County last Friday, but crews are still assessing the damage.

“Today we went out with the state and FEMA to do our preliminary damage assessment,” said Gidget Stanley-Banks, the director for Allendale County EMA. “We got that completed today for them to take back to the governor’s office.”

The assessment is to determine whether the county will receive official disaster declarations, which would make it eligible for FEMA money.

“But right now we did not get a declaration on either one because it was just a preliminary hearing,” Stanley-Banks said.

They are assessing damage to both private and government property.

“We had a lot of county government buildings that were damaged,” she said. “We had a lot of citizen homes that was damaged, so we took an extensive direct hit here in Allendale County.”

The courthouse was hit the worst. It is the only government building that will be closed Wednesday. Schools will be back open, but they will start an hour late. To receive funds for damaged homes, there must be at least 70-thousand dollars worth of damage to uninsured or underinsured property.

“There’s some houses that’s in bad shape out here,” said Allendale resident Steven Flowers. “Some big limbs and trees and stuff [have] fallen. I mean some places are messed up.”

It may be several weeks before the cost of the damage can be assessed. But more immediately, Allendale residents are waiting for tests on their water supply to come back. In the meantime, they’re having to boil it.

“Soon as we get the test results back from DHEC saying the water is good, we can lift the boil water advisory,” Stanley-Banks said.

The test went out Tuesday morning, but the results may not be back for 48 hours.

“We got to remember, the whole entire state was affected by this storm, so we’re not the only one waiting on test results,” she said.

Allendale EMA is opening a phone bank tomorrow during business horus where you can report damage to your uninsured or under-insured property.

You can reach them at (803) 584-7564, (803) 584-7562 and (803) 702-9210.

Pictures of the damage are required with your report.

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