Supervisors hear reports on storm damage

Wright County Secondary Roads crews and the Wright County Sheriff’s Office assist with the evacuation of residents on Taylor Ave south of Belmond.

At their June 23 meeting, the Wright County Supervisors heard reports of damage caused by severe thunderstorms on June 16 and 18. “We’ve had some flooding, we got some rain,” said Adam Clemons, Wright County Engineer, with dry (figuratively speaking) understatement. Clemons cited a rural resident’s rain gauge that had registered 10 cumulative inches throughout the week.

On Monday night, the roads crew put up signs around 7:00 p.m. to temporarily fill in for streetlights out due to lost power. The Sheriff’s Department also lost power (and thus, radio service) briefly before their generator kicked in.  Wednesday through Friday, the roads crew replaced signs that had been damaged and closed roads that had been flooded. Several homes were evacuated along Taylor Avenue near Belmond. No injuries were reported.

Clemons noted that Smith Park Bridge north of Renwick – which runs around 85 feet in length, and was closed several years ago – had shifted six feet west in the flooding. He is exploring options through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the state Department of Homeland Security for reimbursement to remove the wreckage. He estimated replacement costs to be around $500,000, which he indicated he was not prepared to advocate for in the immediate future.

In the June 26 issue, read more details about the storm, Lake Cornelia’s new shower facilities (coming 2015), the County changing dental plans, and the Sheriff’s office’s role in mental health hospital-to-hospital transfers!