Following the devastating storms that tore across Lee County, Ala. on March 3, recovery efforts have begun but the cost of the damage is still being discovered.
The Alabama Forestry Commission has released a report with an estimate of timber damage from the storm, covering nearly 6,000 acres, with initial assessments figuring in a total of $5.8 million to landowners in the area.
After the storms hit in Beauregard and Smiths Station before moving to Eufala, the AFC estimates that 11,000 residents were without power. Additionally, after pilots for the AFC flew over the affected areas, the agency determined that 5,888 acres were “damaged by tornadoes in Macon, Lee, and Barbour Counties, with 149,130 tons of timber destroyed at a value of $3,369,071 million,” according to a report by the AFC.
Lee County took the largest amount of damage, with $2,529,434 in total damage valued for the area. The AFC also estimated the cost of restoration to the forested areas of Macon, Lee, and Barbour Counties, concluding that “the value of damaged forestland and the cost for site restoration, the total estimated loss to affected landowners is $5,871,471.”
This higher estimate on overall damage and recovery cost includes the “average cost for site preparation and replanting a stand is approximately $425 per acre or $2,502,400 for the 5,888 forested acres impacted by the tornado,” according to the AFC.
Updates will follow as exact damage numbers are released.