Less than 48 hours into his position as Interim Emergency Management Services Director, Bryan Husband was preparing paperwork to declare a state of emergency for Clay County following extensive flooding Wednesday.
Appointed interim director on Monday, Husband told The Brazil Times he had been evaluating flooded roads with the County Highway Dept.
"We will be looking at close to 20 roads closed this evening," he said.
Meanwhile, Husband is still communicating with the state regarding the condition of S.R. 42 and S.R. 46.
"We're working on getting a declaration out on the high water. And we'll go from there."
While unsure of the exact count of stranded motorists, Husband warned those driving to avoid roads marked as closed or covered by high water. As a person who has worked in EMS since the age of 16, he explained that disregarding hazard signs is dangerous for both motorists and rescue workers.
"Any time you get people out, so much can happen. Most of us are volunteers," Husband said. "Way too much can happen once you get out there in that water, especially when it's cold."
Both Owen and Greene counties have declared states of emergency, he continued. "It looks like there are going to be quite a few."
Those counties declaring states of emergency may be eligible to receive federal funding to curtail the costs of extra manpower and damage incurred by heavy rain and subsequent flooding. Ensuring local residents avoid unnecessary safety risks is crucial, particularly when darkness reduces visibility.
"People need to be aware that you may not be able to go to the places you want to go. When there's a road sign out that says 'high water,' it's there for a reason," Husband said. "Most of these smaller cars can't take much water. If it's high water, you need to find another way. You get out there, and it's too late.
"Especially when it's dark, pay attention to the signs. Be aware of the conditions. It looks like it's going to last through the night," Husband advised.