partlycloudy
Sunday February 14th, 2016 2:01PM

Near historic flood hits Hall

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - Hall County Commissioners got a cost and damage update on last weekend's flooding Wednesday afternoon from Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief David Kimbrell, and learned the deluge was near historic proportions.

Chief Kimbrell confirmed that around seven and a half inches of rain fell in six hours on Sunday morning.

"The National Weather Service reported five and a half of those inches fell between 7 and 10 o'clock," Kimbrell said. "That's close to a 500 year flood is what they're saying now."

Kimbrell said the county's Central Communications answered around 400 calls Sunday morning, with half of them coming between 7 and 10 a.m. He added the heaviest rain hit South Hall County.

Kimbrell added Emergency Operations Center opened and ran from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. with representatives from the administration, school system, Sheriff's Department, Road Maintenance and Public Information along with emergency management workers.

Kimbrell estimated the storm damage as of Wednesday regionally was about $5-million, with Hall County, Oakwood and Flowery Branch sustaining about half of that, but the figure falls short of the federal government threshold of $13-millon to qualify for disaster assistance.

"The County's portion of that is estimated at $800,000," Kimbrell said. "Oakwood is responsible for McEver Road and they estimated that at a little over $400,000 and Flowery Branch has several areas they are responsible for and their estimate is $1.4-million."

Kimbrell said there were no deaths or injuries from the storm that he was advised of.

"There were several wrecks, all four lanes of I-985 were blocked, people were hydroplaning and we had one wreck with six patients," Kimbrell recalled. "On Thurman Tanner Parkway people were driving through the water, they were swept off and trapped in the car, but all in all we were very fortunate."

The Chief advised citizens to watch out for residual storm damage, damage that may not appear until days later.

"As you're passing over bridges or culverts and if you see the road dipping or cracking concrete or pavement on the side, by all means, notify the Public Works Division," Kimbrell advised. "Something could have been undermined that hasn't shown up yet."
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