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Walton County continuing to address fallout from Hurricane Sally

Jim Thompson
Northwest Florida Daily News

DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — One month after the edges of Hurricane Sally brought flooding and winds to Walton County, the community is continuing to deal with fallout from the storm.

On Tuesday, the county's public works division announced that a section of Bob Sikes Road, a well-traveled east-west route that links U.S. Highway 331 and State Road 285, both major local routes, had been closed between Shady Creek Lane and Woodyard Road as a result of erosion around a drainage feature.

Bob Sikes Road in Walton County suffered a washout from Hurricane Sally.

The heavy rains from Hurricane Sally that flooded a number of county roadways likely are at the root of the erosion, according to Louis Svehla, Walton County's public information manager.

More:Walton County assessing damage from Hurricane Sally

Various county personnel who use the road had reported that its surface had begun to dip, prompting the decision to close both lanes of the short section of the route so repairs can be made, according to Svehla. The section of Bob Sikes Road between Woodyard Road and Shady Creek Lane likely will be closed for a week, Svehla said, necessitating a detour via 19th Street, U.S. Highway 331 and Woodyard Road.

In other infrastructure repair needs left in Sally's wake, Walton County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved an outlay of up to $30,000 for repairs to the Holly Street Neighborhood Beach Access, located a block east of County Road 395 on County Road 30A in Seagrove Beach. The repairs should take four to six weeks, according to Jay Tusa, executive director of the Walton County Tourist Development Council.

More:Teams continue to survey Walton hurricane damage

In the meantime, Tusa said, public beach accesses one block away on either side of the Holly Street Neighborhood Beach Access remain serviceable.

The Holly Street Neighborhood Beach Access in Seagrove Beach was damaged by Hurricane Sally, and remains closed one month after the storm. Walton County commissioners on Tuesday approved an expenditure of up to $30,000 to repair the structure.

Also in relation to Hurricane Sally, the county announced Tuesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has launched Mobile Registration Intake Centers in three locations. Workers at the centers will answer questions about available federal disaster assistance and register people for potential assistance with storm-related damage and losses.

A FEMA center is operating through Saturday at Gene Hurley Park, 965 Gene Hurley Road in DeFuniak Springs, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Beginning Sunday, a center will operate through Oct. 22 at the Freeport Sports Complex, 563 Hammock Trail East in Freeport, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day. From Oct. 23-28, FEMA representatives will be at the Boys and Girls Club, 427 Greenway Trail in Santa Rosa Beach, also from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily.

County officials are encouraging visitors to wear masks or face coverings when visiting a center.

People seeking FEMA assistance must bring the following information when they visit a center: the address of the damaged dwelling, a description of disaster-caused damage and losses, the applicant's current telephone number and mailing address, insurance information, information on total household income, and the routing and account numbers for checking and savings accounts to allow FEMA to transfer disaster assistance funds directly into a bank account. 

A close-up view shows damage to the Holly Street Neighborhood Beach Access resulting from Hurricane Sally. Walton County commissioners have approved an expenditure of not more than $30,000 to repair the structure.

Other options for registering for FEMA assistance are going online to DisasterAssistance.gov, downloading the FEMA app, or calling 800-621-3362, or 800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired.