Wayne Allen

January 9, 2012

By Wayne Allen
Common Staff Writer

According to Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman, the area received an unprecedented amount of rain in 2011. The area received 56.78 inches of rain in 2011, which caused an estimated $2 million in damages.
Opperman and his crew at the Engineer's Office maintain daily records of weather and report them to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio. Every morning, Opperman gathers data from weather instrument at the county garage in Lucasville.
Opperman said the average high in 2011 was 67.3 the average low was 45.7. In 2010 that average was 67.0 and 44.4 as the average low.
"For the year we had 56.78 inches of rain in 2011. That was 15.7 inches above normal, according to our source at the National Weather Service, that number puts us at the second highest year on record. The highest is 57. 41 which was set in 1950. The third highest was 55.04 which was in 1935. The fourth highest was 54.93 which was set in 2003," Opperman said.
He said the large amount of rain the area has seen has caused about $2 million in damage.
"The amount of rain has been dramatic for us. The rain has affected a lot of our infrastructure when it comes to roads and bridges. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) came in earlier in the year to assist us with the damages we've had as a result of these rain falls," Opperman said. "Between Federal Highway Administration and FEMA we've had over 2 million dollars in damages. Which include road slips and bridge damage. We has a lot of road slips and the road could no longer support it's self."
He said between FEMA, the Federal Highway Administration, Ohio Emergency Management Agency and a small local share the projects are paid for.
Opperman said there were 42 locations throughout Scioto County that needed to be repaired as a result of the 2011 rain. He said of the 42 locations four remain to be fixed.
"It's been a very productive, difficult and time consuming year for us. We got a lot of things fixed and a lot of good things happened as a result of this," Opperman said. "As much as it was beneficial to the county, this is something we do not want to happen every year."
He said because of the rain damage crews had to be pulled from other projects to complete others.
"We've managed to get the work done, but it makes getting the rest of our work difficult to accomplish. Our crews did a number of the FEMA projects so; we've had to pull people from other projects in order to get that work done. The FEMA projects were more of an emergency than the project they were working on," Opperman said.
He said county crews are getting caught up on projects throughout the county.