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Tippecanoe Co seeking federal assistance due to flooding

Tippecanoe County is seeking federal assistance to pay for damage caused by heavy rains over the past month.

County commissioners approved a declaration of local disaster emergency Monday morning.

Smokey Anderson, director of the Tippecanoe Emergency Management Agency, says the flooding resulted in more damage than most residents might think.

“Damage to a bridge on (County Road) 100 North is probably the most expensive thing that occurred,” he says. “There was cost to the parks department to remove logjams in Burnett’s Creek near Battle Ground. Actually, the county office building sustained flood damage in the basement.”

Anderson says there also is the cost of overtime for his staff and those at the sheriff’s department.  The damage estimate is more than $800,000 to public property.

The county will replace the damaged bridge. Highway director Opal Kuhl says with one piling cracked and two others dented, they’re running it with a traffic signal as a one-lane bridge.

“That bridge was number five on our replacement list and we just moved it up to number one, since it was damaged so much,” she says. “We felt we just needed to move it up and get it done.”

The replacement cost of the bridge on County Road 100 North is about $1.5 million.

“From the history that I’ve read, that bridge was built in 1975 and it was built as a temporary bridge,” Kuhl says. “The bridge only needed to be there a few years, and it’s made it to 2013.”