Shirley Franklin: Put flood damage at $1 billion, not a paltry $250 million

Two days ago, state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine put the cost of damage caused by the flooding of metro Atlanta at $250 million.

But I just finished talking with Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, who said she’s been telling members of the Obama Administration that the final tally will be at least four times that high – beyond $1 billion.

That’s a big difference, especially when one is asking for federal help.

In assessing the damage to the city, Franklin said authorities have counted nearly 475 homes hit by the flood. “We know that 60 were destroyed, and over 200 were severely damaged,” she said.

If the average home has three residents, that’s more than 1,200 displaced. The price tag on the destroyed homes is estimated at $100,000 each, for the sake of quick math.

The hardest hit was the Lincoln Homes/Proctor Creek area.

Repairing the R.M. Clayton sewage treatment plant on the banks of the Chattahoochee River will cost between $60 million and $100 million, she said. Maybe more.

“But here’s the deal. It was every plant along the [Chattahoochee] river that was probably flooded. So it’s not just R.M. Clayton. It’s the Cobb plant right across the river.

“So what I have been describing to members of the administration, I have said unlike the number that’s out there – this $250 million – I think the number is upwards of $1 billion,” Franklin said.

“If we had 400 structures [damaged], not counting any commercial, including 60 that were destroyed, clearly the region has even more than that. There’s no way that $250 million was ever the right number,” she said.

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86 comments Add your comment

Mike

September 24th, 2009
5:35 pm

Oxendine swagged it, nobody has a clue yet as to how much it will be. Given Franklin’s inability to count money in a budget, why is her guess any more reliable.

Jeffisonline

September 24th, 2009
5:39 pm

(In reality, we need to fund all those ‘do nothing’ administrators’ salaries…)

Adgurl

September 24th, 2009
5:48 pm

@Mike…why is a SWAG (silly wild ass guess) any better?! :-/

rastus

September 24th, 2009
5:56 pm

What’s a billion amongst friends??

Adgurl–technically a SWAG is scientific wild ass guess.

Rich

September 24th, 2009
6:00 pm

Surprising that Atlanta was not in the President’s National Disater area. Only Cobb, Cherokee, Paulding and Douglas. No Gwinnett either.

Bill

September 24th, 2009
6:02 pm

I guess the cost depends on what they can find that’s on sale. Plus, maybe they could look around for a few coupons.

Conservative Republican

September 24th, 2009
6:03 pm

Whatever happended to personal self-reliance and NOT reliance upon the Feds. Sam Olens, you disgust us with your whining and nitpicking! Show some individualism and roll up your sleeves! Who cares if the President or Vice-President show and when they show! We have Governor Perdue, Casey Cagle and Glenn Richardson!

outlaw

September 24th, 2009
6:04 pm

This is the same Ms. Franklin that did nothing for us while SHE laid off police officers and firefighters…no thanks keep your mouth shut bi*#@!$%^^&

Kevin

September 24th, 2009
6:09 pm

Anything for a hand out, huh Shirley.

The sooner you leave office and I am able to stop reading about your worthless, self-promoting government, the better I’ll be.

I can’t wait the mayoral election when I can vote for some real change I can believe in. Welcome, Mayor Norwood . . .

kemosabe

September 24th, 2009
6:18 pm

Actually it will be higher than 1 billion. Good luck dealing with Fema, they will make the experience much worse. And most of the insurance companies will not pay the valid claims either. State Farm? Good luck. Unlike their commercials, they will not be there. And they will fight the claims. Don’t believe me? Ask a Katrina victim. Insurance is the biggest scam going. And that azz clown Oxendine is a crook.

Jonathon

September 24th, 2009
6:25 pm

Shirley Frankin is as outdated as that cheezy big flower on her business suit. She dresses like somebodys grandma.

dkvb

September 24th, 2009
6:29 pm

John Oxendine represents the insurance industry. That’s the reason he can think about another political office, but he’ll never run.

John, please have your pollsters stop calling me about your chances for some political office.

larry ross

September 24th, 2009
6:30 pm

the gov. prayed for rain, ask him to pray to pay help.

just jim

September 24th, 2009
6:32 pm

No matter the cost The tax payers will have to pay it in the end.

Elizabeth

September 24th, 2009
6:37 pm

Say NO to federal aid. It’s just socialism pure and simple!

larry ross

September 24th, 2009
6:39 pm

why because your home is okay, #$%^&&

kemosabe

September 24th, 2009
6:47 pm

“Say NO to federal aid. It’s just socialism pure and simple!”

No twit, you are. Go back to Bookman’s you pos.

W

September 24th, 2009
6:47 pm

Why only 1 billion, Shirley? Why not go ahead and make it 10, hell even 100 billion. Just call the “savior” Obama and i’m sure he’ll be more than happy to print off some more fresh bills for everyone.

Andre

September 24th, 2009
6:48 pm

When I first heard those figures I really felt it was too low and I was shocked that Fulton County was not apart of the estimate. I just don’t understand how he was able to make an estimate that early. Don’t try to say Shirley is trying to put her hands in the cookie jar either, she’s not going to be around that long. And don’t blame her for the economic fall out in Atlanta because the GREAT state of Georgia has an economic fallout. The state Educators will agree. The next mayor will get their chance at being corrupt. Elizabeth, are you serious? I mean are you genuinely serious? Think of that road you drive on, or that sidewalk you walk on or the water you shower in. ALL OF THAT IS THANKS TO FEDERAL AID. I really hope you aren’t this stupid.

jd

September 24th, 2009
7:28 pm

Hey my Republican friends! I thought you guys were all about self reliance, anti-govt., pull yourself up by your bootstraps? What happened to that? Get out there and rebuild your homes and roads with your bare hands. Call Bush or Cheney. Maybe they’ll loan you a couple of bucks.

Hey, don’t get mad at me. I’m just throwing your rhetoric back in your face.

When other people are hurting, you Republicans don’t care. But when you hurt, oh brother, where is the govt. to take care of me (see all the Wall St. bankers as examples).

Compassion. Look up that word while you’re put on hold by your unregulated, zombie insurance company.

Barry

September 24th, 2009
7:38 pm

Another mayor trying to get the federal money. Hey we are not Louisiana with KAtrina. How can damages be that high. I guess this is what government officials do whe that get “presidential declarations”. This is their opportunity to get “bail out” money.

jd

September 24th, 2009
7:39 pm

Republicans, why are you looking for a govt. handout?

I say, let’s put Brownie, of Katrina fame, in charge of relief for every Republican household that was hit by the storm.

Hey, don’t say that was mean. If McCain/Palin were elected they would have closed FEMA as soon as they took office.

Jake's mom

September 24th, 2009
7:44 pm

I don’t get it. Why is helping the poor and downtrodden being a Christian on Sunday, and a Socialist the rest of the week??

4Uidiotz

September 24th, 2009
7:45 pm

Why does it matter? All the feds will do is offer LOANS, they will not be giving the money away. Whatever the total is, someone will be on the hook for it (and yes, the taxpayer would be on the hook for defaulted loans)

And of course Franklin is going to up the ante, she’s a fan of the welfare state and figures it times for her to get first in line at the taxpayer trough.

Why the AJC falls short

September 24th, 2009
7:53 pm

Given the Space Shuttle like flight from reality Shirley exhibited in her opinion piece this week, I don’t know at this point if we could trust her to even tell us how many cans there are in a six-pack of soda.

FMX

September 24th, 2009
8:09 pm

People I just got back from the Austell area. It is bad! Seeing it on the news and seeing it in person is two different things. I saw cars and houses that had been completelu underwater. i pray for those people.

earldaddy

September 24th, 2009
8:18 pm

What are you, a bunch of junior high schoolers? This article was about a very serious, adult subject and immediately many of you start talking about how people dress and socialism and attacking our President (quite “anti-American”, I’d say). What a bunch of sore-loser, racist, juvenile morons.

Adam

September 24th, 2009
8:18 pm

I never thought I’d think this…but I actually agree with Ox. 500 houses totaled at $100k, 2,000 houses damaged at $40k, 6,000 houses with $10k in damage (I’m just assuming some big time numbers here for the sake of the swag)….thats $190M. Assume another $100M in infrastructure damage (which I doubt is that high), we’re under $300M. A far cry from $1B. Franklin….stop begging.

earldaddy

September 24th, 2009
8:20 pm

By the way, Federal money is “our” money, so why fight against using it to help out our own citizens in times of need like this? Dumb, self-centered followers!

Muddy Waters

September 24th, 2009
8:22 pm

jd

September 24th, 2009
7:28 pm

Your crap is getting old quick. Just shut it.

Mr. WhatDoIKnow

September 24th, 2009
8:22 pm

One billion in damages . . . Was that from the flood or Shirly Girls eight years in office? Forgive me, I have sinned . . . If an elected official is Black it is inappropriate to be critical of them . . .

Adam

September 24th, 2009
8:23 pm

Actually, that federal money is really from “about 50% of us”. And of that 50%, about 5% of “us” (yep, in that group) provide the bulk of that money. So it isn’t really “our” money, probably not “your” money. Its mine. I worked for it. And I prefer to keep it.

KnightInATL

September 24th, 2009
8:27 pm

Pardon my ignorance here, but I thought that Shirley Franklin was mayor of the city of Atlanta, not Georgia’s Governor. Thusly, any concerns or happening outside of her city limits (i.e., the flooding), she should kindly shut her mouth and let our state elected officials do their jobs without impeding it.

rastus

September 24th, 2009
8:29 pm

Good Lord, what a bunch of hard hearted b@st@rds on this blog.

Washington has spewed trillions over the Wall St. fat cats this past year, and we can’t get a measley billion to help out our fellow Atlantans?

Drive through Austell and see it for yourself and then decide whether we need the money or not.

Adam

September 24th, 2009
8:30 pm

And nothing is wrong with a little compassion. But its wrong to force it. Helping the poor, compassion, etc is a personal choice and shouldn’t be regulated.

Why is it that individuals agree its wrong to take money from a person’s wallet, but its ok to get a bunch of individuals together, and ask the government to do it for them?

I remember something about “democracy in its purest form is really nothing more than Mob rule”.

“If you’re in your 20’s and not liberal, you have no heart. If you’re in your 30’s and not conservative, you have no brain”. I think Churchill muttered something along those lines.

LIVIN' MY LIFE

September 24th, 2009
8:31 pm

I cannot believe some of you on here. Just because your house(s) or land is ok does not mean that other are. Some of you people are selfish and unkind. Some of you are just out for youselves and this is very appauling. I just want to know why some of you are so selfish? I just do not understand. And Oxendine is a fool! Mayor Franklin sees reality unlike many of you idiots on here.

Muddy Waters

September 24th, 2009
8:32 pm

Adam, those houses were not 100k houses. I know we’re talking averages here but isn’t that a little low? I think there are things we haven’t even thought of. I do agree though… Shirley Girl’s estimates are not reliable.

csquared

September 24th, 2009
8:36 pm

You keep your money and let all your friends keep theirs too (as in why even PAY taxes?). I’m not so uncaring as to not let some of MINE (in the 5% too, pal), go to helping folks in need. It’s called Christianity and I don’t just practice it on Sundays. Somewhere along the line time to stop PRACTICING and get in the GAME. I’m sure you have a better use for your money, like putting it in some failed GA bank.

Adonis

September 24th, 2009
8:40 pm

Someone earlier said they were in the top 5% of income earners and they did not want their tax dollars going to help out flood vicitims.

I am in the top 1% and pay millions in taxes and I am very happy my taxes are going to help my fellow man when he needs a hand. I had much rather see my tax dollars spent in Atlanta rebuilding houses than in Afghanistan blowing up rocks.

AD

Trent

September 24th, 2009
8:44 pm

Well, I am in the top ..10% and I pay zillions in taxes. So there!

Voice of Reason #1

September 24th, 2009
8:45 pm

Adonis…are you a single, hetero male…? ;-) LOL.

Trent

September 24th, 2009
8:45 pm

.10% that’s POINT ONE ZERO PERCENT.

csquared

September 24th, 2009
8:46 pm

as for a Billion dollars, that may be a little high, but you and I and OX himself knows that $250 mill aint it.
by the time you fix all those sewage treatment plants, pump stations, roads, bridges, etc, that’s $250 mil easy. Add in homes that were destroyed (none of those I saw was a $100k house, more like double that (remember the selling point WAS riverfront property!). You know you’re going to want the roads fixed quick as well as the water treatment plants (boiling and getting bottled get OLD really fast) probably splitting the difference and say HALF a billion. Or you could always just fix HALF your house. go back to ONE lane bridges, etc.

Adonis

September 24th, 2009
8:48 pm

VR #1–I loves the women folk—yes I do.

csquared

September 24th, 2009
8:49 pm

if you’re in the top .10% (that’s tenth of a percent) and you’re paying TAXES, you need to fire your accountant.

Son of Trent

September 24th, 2009
8:50 pm

Dad, you are not funny. You are embarrasing the me and sis.

You folks are suckas

September 24th, 2009
9:04 pm

The average flood insurance policy costs $300. How much money do you suppose the folks in the flooded homes have spent on the “stupid tax”, uh…I mean lottery? What are the chances their houses might flood vs. the chances of winning the lottery? I’d wager that, if you are in a “100 year flood plain”, you have a 1% chance of having your house flood each year. So…1% of lets call it an average damage of $50,000, thats $500. So you’re ahead $200 on that one.

Odds of winning mega millions: 1 in 175 MILLION. So… 0.00000000571 x ohhh….$50M or so after tax on average. $0.29. 29 cents. for a $1 ticket.

For poker players, thats bad pot odds.

larry ross

September 24th, 2009
9:05 pm

the gov. that you all voted for, ask for rain from god, rememeber

sedimenjerr

September 24th, 2009
9:33 pm

There are people who lost their homes and everything they owned.
They didn’t lose their jobs. They aren’t collecting umemployment benefits.
They need help. It’s one thing to be on welfare. It’s another thing to have a flood take everything you worked hard for away in a flash. They don’t want a handout. They don’t need a handout. They need a home. They need a place to start over. Most are fellow taxpayers who need help.

jack

September 24th, 2009
9:42 pm

A few years ago, we were a nation of Americans, not blind zealots with allegiance to political parties or political ideologies.

In case you’ve never read it, note that the Preamble to the Constitution has the line:

“… to promote the general welfare.”

Presidents from both parties have taken action when Americans have been harmed by natural disasters or by acts of terror.

Please keep in mind that the Glenn Becks, Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannity’s make millions of dollars stirring up anger with their distortions.

Read the anger in the posts and you will see that these people are not helping our country, they are enriching themselves at our nations expense.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.