Thursday, April 24, 1997
Millions added to flood cost
So far, $400M for Ohio, Kentucky

The Cincinnati Enquirer

The bill for damage from last month's unsparing floods has topped $400 million in Ohio and Kentucky alone - with Kentucky's toll still expected to climb significantly.

The Bluegrass State was the hardest-hit financially, with officials using a new estimate Thursday of more than $200 million in damage, not counting devastated farms and businesses. When those are tallied, the total is expected to soar.

Kentucky Adjutant General Russ Groves Jr. called the floods ''an event of unprecedented scale, perhaps of historic proportions.''

Economic loss from the flood in Ohio is estimated at $180 million, said Nancy Dragani, spokeswoman for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. That includes structural damage to homes and businesses, personal property loss, lost business revenues, lost taxes and damage to government infrastructure, she said. Seventeen Ohio counties were declared disaster areas.

In Indiana, an estimated $23.5 million will be paid out in federal aid or loans related to flood damage, said Alden Taylor, spokesman for the Indiana Emergency Management Agency. The state was still trying to estimate its total losses.

In Kentucky, new figures released by the state Disaster and Emergency Services Division (DES) say 17,920 homes were damaged, 5,126 of those with significant damage and 1,750 destroyed. Damage to homes totals about $163 million.

The estimate of damage to public property is about $8.5 million, said DES Executive Director Ronn Padgett, with most of it in seven counties: Campbell, Pendleton, Jefferson, Harrison, Franklin and Elliott.

The estimated damage to Kentucky's roads and bridges is $32 million.

Reporter John Eckberg and the Associated Press contributed to this report.