Since the flooding caused by rainfall in July and August, much of the focus has been on 30A road damage. However, Ken Hinrichs, president and CEO of United Way in Okaloosa and Walton County, reminds residents that there's more work to be done.
"Thirty-five families were flooded out of their houses," he said. "The bulk of the publicity has gone to infrastructure damage. FEMA came with $12 million to respond to that, but concluded that individual's damages are not coverable."
With more than 40 inches of rainfall between July and August, home interiors have been pretty much destroyed, Hinrichs said.
"There's more to it than just a bridge," said Al Ford, emergency management coordinator at WCSO.
Earlier this week, United Way, with the help of organizations such as Walton County Sheriff's Office, American Red Cross, Catholic Charities and Hammers with a Heart have formed the Walton County's Long Term Recovery Organization (LTRO).
"I've already seen one bill for $2,300," Hinrichs said. "My personal estimate is it will take $50,000-$70,000 to rebuild."
The LTRO is a long time coming, Ford said. The group of agencies will also help respond to future emergencies in Walton County such as hurricanes and tornadoes.
"We had to get started somewhere," he said. "This will be great for the community."
The LTRO will be looking for volunteers to help rebuild homes damaged during the flood, as well as donations. You can learn more by contacting United Way at www.united-way.org or by calling the local office at 243-0315.
Want to help?
The Walton County Long Term Recovery Organization will be meeting 9 a.m. at Sept. 17 at the Walton County Sheriff's Office, located at 752 Triple G Road, DeFuniak Springs. The meeting is open to the public.