CRESTVIEW — City workers are documenting all storm recovery efforts so they can apply for federal aid following this week's floods, Mayor David Cadle said.
Labor, equipment and material costs must be included in Crestview's FEMA application. City workers are still assessing total damage, so the city hasn't filed the paperwork as of this writing.
"We have so many streets that buckled," Cadle said. "We don't really know how much it will cost to restore those roadways."
One thing is certain about the amount: With 16 Crestview streets closing after the storm, "it's gonna be pretty substantial," he said.
Pulling from the city's more than $1 million contingency fund is another option to help cover storm damage repair costs, officials said.
Either way, repairs won't wait for funding.
"With or without (FEMA aid) we have to make the roads passable," Cadle said. "People have to be able to drive, and we think that's a critical need."
City workers have the ability to lay asphalt and rebuild retaining walls; "I think we can do most everything ourselves," the mayor said.
City crews will work 12-hour days until storm-related repairs are completed, Cadle said.
"We're going to have to ask our citizens to be patient with us because our manpower is limited and the crews are limited, so we're gonna get to each street as we can," he said.
Flooding resulted from Tuesday through Wednesday's continuous rainfall that accumulated up to 13 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
It was a "freakish" storm that was "so unusual it just sort of overwhelmed our infrastructure," Cadle said.
City workers immediately sprang into action, he said.
"We're so very proud of the public service workers, the police and the fire (departments) who were out all night in that rain," Cadle said. "... Our chiefs and the director of public services (Wayne Steele) spent about 38 hours on the job before they got to sleep.
"I was just very proud of them and the commitment that they have to doing their job. "
Okaloosa County Public Works Department employees also are assessing total damage; they don't expect a dollar amount until next week at the earliest, Road and Parks division manager Clay Simmons said.
In the meantime, the department is ensuring all county residents have accessible roadways for emergency services following a storm that targeted Okaloosa County at least two particular ways.
"The south end of the county received a lot of flooding and the north end received a lot damage to road ways," he said.
Staff Writer Matthew Brown contributed to this report.