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Road repairs continue in Arab countries after leaders say FEMA denies aid

MARSHALL COUNTY, Alabama – Local leaders are grateful for the work being done all around the city of Arab, but are not happy to be denied federal assistance after the historic October 6 floods.

“There were major problems here,” Arab public works director Helen Stone said. “It didn’t just affect us. Sewer, water, gas. It was very upsetting not to receive any help.

Since the floods destroyed bridges and killed two people, Arab Stone has prioritized restoring safe roads for drivers in the area, but this has come at the expense of the city despite unprecedented circumstances, a she declared.

“The state had $ 8.1 million to raise to reach the threshold,” she said. “From what I understand, we encountered this. And what happened after that, I’m not really sure. I do not know what happened.

Former city councilor Russ Elrod witnessed one of the deaths that night.

“I think about the tragedy that I’ve witnessed every day, and it’s something that stays with you,” Elrod said. “It’s something you never forget. And I hope no one has to witness it again.

Like Stone, Elrod is upset to learn that no money from Washington will immediately help with the repairs.

“That we hear about the trillions and billions of dollars that have been spent on so-called infrastructure and then not get a dime – I think it’s a shame of Washington to turn its back on a small town like this in their greatest time of need. One of the greatest times of need in our city.

Alabama’s infrastructure has long been a problem. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave Alabama a “C-” on its infrastructure newsletter. For future projects, Alabama is expected to receive $ 5.2 billion from the recent infrastructure bill passed by Congress. $ 255 million is for bridge projects across the state.

But funding or no funding, the repair work is being done. Stone said the Pine Lake Trail Bridge has just reopened, and the 10th Street Bridge will follow this week. The final repairs will come to Autumn Creek Drive.

Stone and Elrod hope their community learns from the damage caused in October.

“It will happen again. Maybe not at this point, but unfortunately we will have more flooding in this area, ”Elrod said.

“Don’t drive in flooded water,” Stone said. “Turn around, don’t drown. “


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