FEMA visits Princeton, businesses still cleaning up damage

A community looks for solutions in the midst of flood damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency surveyed July flood damage in Princeton and Caldwell County Tuesday.

Princeton Mayor Danny Beavers says FEMA did an assessment on infrastructure costs like road repairs and cleanup.

“For the most part, the city’s done very well for a 10-inch rain in a few hours,” Sullenger said.

Public Works Director David Sullenger says their drainage capacity in Eddy Creek is their main problem now.

“We’ve still got several blockages and stuff like that going on down in the creek area that we have to work to get out plus keep up with our other regular jobs,” Sullenger said.

If the creek gets blocked up, it can affect drains, such as some downtown that can also get covered with debris during storms. Add about 10 inches of rain in six hours, and businesses like I-K-T Services and Napa Auto Parts get flooded.

Napa Auto Parts Manager Charles Coleman says it’ll probably be two months before they finish cleaning up and restocking everything.

“Driving into town that morning I noticed water and spots I’ve never seen before, so I thought uh oh…It’s a tough, hard feeling when you’re looking at a $300 water pump, and you have to throw it in the dumpster. You know, $150 starter you’re going to have to throw in the dumpster,” Coleman said.

It’s costing them about $20,000, and the mayor says the community as a whole is incurring more than $200,000 in damages

“At one point during the night you couldn’t even get in or out of Princeton pretty much,” Sullenger said.

Sullenger says even the fire department had a hard time making runs that night, and all those rescue and cleanup efforts are something FEMA may reimburse.

“Anytime we can recoup some money, as tight as it is now a days I mean, that would be a great help to the city, I know, and the county,” Sullenger said.

At least six businesses and 12 homes had damage in Princeton. The mayor says if FEMA offers help, it will most likely be in the form of small interest loans.

More than 20 counties, including 11 in our area, are asking for federal aid to help them fix the damage from July storms. Kentucky Emergency management believes the cost of the damage during July flooding will meet or exceed the $6.2 million threshold required for federal funding.

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