Damages exceed half a million in Bertie Co.

Published 4:38 pm Sunday, August 28, 2011

WINDSOR – Clean up is going well in Bertie County, but the cost of Hurricane Irene could be devastating.

Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb said all three shelters in the county were closed Sunday morning after the 100-plus people who used them during the storm left voluntarily.

“By 8 a.m., everyone was on their way back home,” Lamb said. “They were eager to get back to their own houses and start assessing any damage.”

Thus far, Bertie County has nearly 40 structures that have been identified as damaged. Of that number, 32 are single-family homes, one is a business, one a government building, two mobile homes and one apartment.

Five of the structures received major damage, 32 have minor damage and one has been destroyed.

Lamb said the early estimates are that $600,000 in damages has been done to structures and another $200,000-plus in damage to docks and bulk heads.

The major losses, however, will be crops, according to Lamb.

“It looks like tobacco in Bertie County could be devastated,” he said. “Eighty or 90 percent of the tobacco may have been destroyed.”

Another crop that could be devastated is cotton, which looks to have been greatly damaged, according to officials.

“After Isabel, the tornadoes, Floyd and everything we’ve been through, we dodged a bullet,” Lamb said. “We certainly have some losses and have some issues to deal with, but overall we dodged a bullet.”

Bertie County is currently under no curfew, though it does remain under a State of Emergency.