When an event like last week's flooding is over, county engineers have 30 days to send their damage reports to the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. Officials say after that, if the entire state meets a threshold of $7.2 million in damage, those reports then head to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. County engineers estimate just four of the worst roads will take anywhere from $4.5 million to $6 million to fix altogether.
"From the end of an incident period, you have 30 days to collect damages both for your individual assistance and public assistance," said Brian Hastings, State EMA Director. "At that point, it's a federal process, so we don't like to talk about timelines. Nothing is guaranteed."
For now, drivers in Jackson County will have to deal with blocked roads. One driver, Tasha Sampson, said the roads are too scary to drive.
"I just don't want to take chances on it," said Sampson.
State and county emergency management officials took a trip on Thursday to County Road 17 to look at the damage. On the side of the road, there are tire tracks from people going around the barricade and cutting through. The road itself has gotten continually worse over the past week.
"It will help our case and build our narrative, for requesting a major disaster declaration," said Hastings.
Once the counties are done with their report, it needs the governor's signature before heading to the president, who will need to sign a disaster deceleration. This could open up funds to help counties, cities and even homeowners.