Bertie damage estimated at $5 million

Published 9:57 am Tuesday, October 5, 2010

WINDSOR – Damage in Bertie County alone could reach half of the federal threshold for a disaster declaration in North Carolina.

Last week’s flooding is expected to be roughly $5 million in property damage to the citizens of Bertie County, which is half of the $10 million in damages the state must reach to meet to be declared a federal disaster.

State teams will come to Bertie County today (Tuesday) to begin the work of getting official estimates of the damage.

“The people will be coming in tomorrow to start the assessment process,” Bertie County Emergency Management Coordinator Rickey Freeman said Monday afternoon. “They’ll be going door-to-door and finding out what damage each person has.”

The damage estimates are expected to be finalized either Tuesday or Wednesday.

“We are estimating there is $5 million of damages in Bertie County alone,” Windsor Mayor Jimmy Hoggard said. “Clearly, that’s a rough figure at this point.”

Mayor Hoggard said the Windsor Fire Department had counted 40 businesses that were affected by the flood waters and that the town was estimating 150 homes were damaged.

“I went out with the dive team on Saturday and they actually had to swim to some houses,” he said. “Those we know are in bad shape, but others may have only had a few inches of water.”

The mayor said Peterson Lane was hit hard by the storm waters and that most of the area around Roy’s Service Center on U.S. 13 north of the Cashie River Bridge had been devastated.

Other businesses which have been affected by the flood include Little Golden Skillet, Lighthouse Café, Hammerheads Oyster Bar and China King. Those are in addition to those previously reported, including Bunn’s BBQ, Southern Bank and the U.S. Post Office.

The law offices of Pritchett and Burch and those of Gilliam and Gilliam on Dundee Street were also damaged during the flooding.

Cashie Baptist Church sustained some flooding in its fellowship hall, but none inside the sanctuary.

While the businesses, residences and other structures are a major part of the damages, there will also be a significant loss by farmers.

Freeman said the Bertie County Cooperative Extension office was out on Monday working to see how many crops were damaged by the flood waters. Those damage estimates will come in with the others later this week.