Dade Co still recovering from historic flood one year later - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dade Co still recovering from historic flood one year later

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DADE COUNTY, GA (WRCB) - It's been one year since historic flooding devastated parts of Dade County, washing away trailers and cars and ripping up roads and trees.

Around five inches of rain fell in just one hour. The flash flood happened in the northern part of the county. Murphy Hollow and roads off Slygo and Highway 11 were among the hardest hit. Some things are still not back to the way they were.

Murphy Hollow Creek is currently bone dry, but still littered with some residents' belongings that were washed away by the powerful waters. Longtime residents and officials say it's the worst flood to ever hit Dade County. Cleanup is still a work in progress for some.

"Honestly it feels like it was last week. I mean that's something hard to get over," Mitchell Ford said.

Murphy Hollow Road resident Mitchell Ford says he remembers first hearing the rushing water, then going to the porch to see his neighborhood submerged.

"When I saw that water coming out of that creek I've never seen that creek like that in my life. And I hope I never see it again, but that was scary. It took house trailers and everything out down through here. Boats, trucks, cars and we never did find all of them though," Ford said.

The Doyle family lost their bridge made of concrete and steel rods.

"The tree stump that came through, that's what hit it," Melanie Doyle said.

For a few months, they had to hike through the creek to go to and from their homes. Now they have a small walking bridge, but still unable to afford one sturdy enough to drive on. It's a private bridge, so they have to save and pay for it themselves. They also worry about what would happen if they ever need emergency responders to get to their house, like a fire truck or ambulance.

"To bring groceries in you have to carry so many bags down the hill, over this way to the house and then keep coming back, keep coming back, keep coming back. It's not easy," she said.

The county has spent more than a million dollars over the last year repairing dozens of public roads. For example, Sarah Chapel Road had the underneath tiles washed away and the pavement caving in when the water receded.

"It rolled them up just like a can and blew the road out," Dade County Executive Ted Rumley said.

They rebuilt damaged roads immediately, but then winter came so they're just starting to pave now.

"This is something you don't budget for, you can't budget for," Rumley said.

The state offered some financial help and they dipped into SPLOST money, but officials say it will still take the county years to recoup the unexpected cost.

"It was almost comparable to our tornadoes a few years before that," Rumley said.

County road crews hope to finish the paving this summer.
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