Village Hears Extent of Damage Estimates at Storm Town Hall Meeting

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 13, 2021 at 12:07pm

The Vandalia sign that was ripped off of a signal light pole at the intersection of South Main and Vandalia during the October 24th storm sits in front of the dais in the South Jacksonville Village Hall during a Town Hall meeting Friday

Some business owners and a few residents met at a town hall in South Jacksonville last night to discuss issues they are facing in the wake of the October 24th storms.

Village President Mike Broaddus called for the town hall to help collect information in an effort to see if any outside assistance was needed or even available.

Pastor Tim Kruzan of City Church said that the church is still waiting for the insurance adjuster to make a return trip, however, during an initial inspection by an engineer, it was determined that not only was the front wall of the structure blown off but the sidewalls of the sanctuary are buckled and bowed.

He said the insurance company has said the entire sanctuary portion of the building may have to be torn down and replaced, but there is hope the rear section can be saved.

Larry Johnisee and his wife who own For Your Floors at 1848 South Main Street said their building is still uninhabitable in most areas to the point that it rains inside the building.

Johnisee says he currently is on the 4th adjuster with his insurance company who has set back $1.7 million in possible claim. Johnisee says they are currently waiting for an engineer to inspect the building, and in the meantime, he is setting up a temporary storefront location in Lincoln Square as he has not been able to open for business since the storm.

Khoy Sturvent who owns the Peddlers Antique Mall across the street had very little damage with some minor roof damage by comparison. Peddlers sits directly across the street from For Your Floors and both owners have been amazed at the difference in damage that was sustained from one building to the next.

Village President Mike Broaddus says he appreciates everyone who came to the town hall, and he hopes to hear from more soon.

I think it went pretty well, I kind of wish more would have shown up but I know it’s a Friday and a lot of people have plans on the weekends. I might have another one to try and draw more people in because a lot of people are still trying to get their insurance information and everything.

Our main this is to get estimates of all the damage and my supervisor meeting is coming up so I’m trying to get all of that together from my supervisors on how much their departments spent. But I think if everyone comes to these meetings, maybe we can get something done.”

Morgan County Emergency Management Director Phil McCarty was also in attendance and said that to receive federal disaster assistance, a given area needs to have a minimum of $22 million in uninsured losses to the public body before the area can be declared a disaster area and qualify for assistance.

McCarty said however that there may still be areas where assistance is available, but it might take some work to determine what that might be at this time.