Estimates for storm damage cost top $1M

County taking donations for displaced residents

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — The storm that spawned two tornadoes in Pickens County in the early-morning hours of April 13 caused more than $1 million in damage.

Acting county administrator Ken Roper discussed the storm during his daily update video on Facebook Live Monday morning.

The storm put the county in “kind of double states of emergency,” he said.

“We had significant storm damage all along the lower part of the county, along (Highway 93) and also up in the the Laurel and Hardy Road area,” Roper said. “Our assessor’s office has done an initial estimation of the damage, and the number I heard this morning was $1.6 million in estimated damage.”

With that information, county officials can request the governor’s office to ask the federal government to “declare this a disaster area,” he said.

“So we can seek help from FEMA,” Roper said. “That’s the way that process works.”

Roper said Tuesday morning that FEMA would be in Pickens County on Thursday.

Roper said he’d heard from a resident who felt “they’d been left out of the response” to the storm.

“You have to report it,” he said. “You have to call 898-5872. We want to come and assess it, we want to be helpful, but we need the report. So if you’ve got storm damage, structural damage to the buildings on your property, call 898-5872.

“If there’s some other way we can help you, call our county hotline at 898-5339,” Roper continued. “Do not be feeling left out. We’re trying to give you multiple ways to contact us. We want to help any way we can.”

Roper said he’s proud of the county’s emergency management, EMS, fire and rescue workers.

“We’ve had several of our employees and our vehicles going over to Oconee County and helping out over the last few days,” he said. “I’m really proud of the way they’ve responded. We’re all in our own emergency, but they’re all still being good neighbors and reaching out.”

Pickens County Emergency Management is accepting donations to assist those who have been displaced by the tornadoes.

Donations are being accepted at the county administration building from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday and distributed to local organizations that are assisting with relief efforts.

In order to best serve the community, county officials are asking residents to limit donations to the following highest priority needs:

• Bottled water

• Non-perishable food items

• Grocery gift cards

• Tarps (all sizes)

• Work gloves

• Trash bags

Signs mark the drop-off area at the back of the administration building.

Those going to make a donation will be asked to call a posted phone number upon arrival for assistance. The building is currently closed to walk-in traffic, so residents should take donations during the specified times and be prepared to call upon arrival.