- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - Adams County officials will ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency to look again at providing money to fix a box culvert in a rural area that collapsed and made the local road impassable during the 2011 flood.

Located in the county’s extreme south, the Jackson Point area is one of the most remote in Adams County.

While no residents live in the area, members of the board of supervisors have in the past said access is important because millions of dollars’ worth of agricultural planting is done in the area.

The Natchez Democrat reports (https://bit.ly/1waDSS4 ) the county has previously asked to amend its original FEMA emergency reimbursement worksheet to include the damage to Jackson Point Road, but that request was denied. The process is now in appeal.

Board President Darryl Grennell said FEMA asked the county send all work orders for the road before the flood to demonstrate the work was not needed at that time.

“For them to request that information tells me they are willing to revisit this deal and ultimately - I hope - they will overturn their original decision,” Grennell said.

The county has been reimbursed for other flood-related expenses. The flooding occurred in May of 2001 when the Mississippi River reached a record 61.9 feet.

County Administrator Joe Murray said the work orders will show the culvert was stable before the flood.

Some access was possible until this year, but the road has now completely collapsed. At one point earlier this year, agriculture producers used a temporary board road similar to those used in the oil field to access the area.

Murray said for the fall harvest the county road crew has done some dirt work to make the area temporarily passable.

“It is passable now, but the next water that comes through there and inundates that road, it is going to wash out again,” he said.

Grennell said two options - a $1 million box culvert replacement or an approximately $800,000 bridge - have been presented for the fix.

“The engineers have determined that a bridge replacement might be the better option,” he said. “One of the benefits of history is we don’t have to go back and make the same mistakes again.”

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Information from: The Natchez Democrat, https://www.natchezdemocrat.com/


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