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Friday, May 6, 2016

Storm causes road closures

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Rolling floodwater washed away a portion of the roadway, forcing the closure of County Road 1300 North after Tuesday evening's storm. Ivy Jackson Photo.
Several county roadways remain closed due to Tuesday night's storm damage and, as Eel River prepares to crest at approximately 20 feet near Bowling Green, there may be more.

Although there were at least 12 roads closed at one time after the storm cleared the county, Clay County Highway Department Supervisor Pete Foster told The Brazil Times most have reopened.

"I really have to thank the volunteer firefighters for their help (Tuesday) night. They were out there helping to clear away storm damage and report road conditions," Foster said about crews covering the county in a grid pattern to find storm damage.

As of Wednesday afternoon, six county roads were problematic:

* A section of County Road 300 South (near Bowling Green area) from CR 350 E to CR 500 E was closed due to water over the road,

* A quarter mile stretch of CR 500 E just south of State Road 246 is closed because the water level of a pond in the area has flooded the road,

* Storm damage from fallen trees and standing/running water over the road closed portions of CR 1300 N between Murphey Avenue and CR 100 E and further down the road near CR 300 E,

* A half-mile portion of CR 675 W (just east of Staunton) south of what is known as the 100 Step Cemetery was also closed due to trees down,

* The intersection of CR 1400 N and CR 200 E was closed so Parke County REMC linemen can repair a damaged transformer and downed utility lines. Foster said the road would reopen once repairs were completed, and

* Murphey Ave. was open for traffic, but Foster said utility crews were in the area repairing downed power lines.

"There are trees and power lines down all the way to Carbon, and crews are in the area clearing the debris. Motorists will be able to get through, but they need to drive slow and use caution in the area," Foster said, adding, with rain still falling, crews are not done yet. "The water is rising and we are still out there checking the roads."

Late Wednesday, Assistant Highway Supervisor Larry Dierdorff informed The Times of several new closures.

"There must have been a lot of rain north of us because the area around Eel River is flooding," Dierdorff said.

Dierdorff added three additional roads to the list.

* A two-mile section of CR 400 S from SR 59 to CR 200 E is closed due to water over the road,

* A two-mile section of Harmony Road (CR 200 E), one mile on each side of River Road, between CR 200 S and CR 400 S is closed because the Eel River has flooded the area, and

* Flooding caused a two-mile section of CR 1300 S between SR 59 and CR 200 W to be closed.

Officials urged motorists to take precautions the next couple of days while driving in areas prone to flooding.

"People really need to pay attention while driving around Eel River when there is a chance of flooding," Dierdorf said. "It might really surprise people who went through an area that had a small amount of water over the road earlier in the day when they return a couple of hours later and find it much deeper."

The National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service estimates the Eel River should crest between 19.87--20 feet Wednesday. At 20 feet, the NWS reports agricultural levees are threatened and livestock in low flood plain areas near Eel River could be in danger with many county and local roads extensively flooded, including Poland-Bowling Green Road would be impassable.

NWS officials urge those living in river cabins to move cars and belongings, if possible, to higher ground.

Clay County Emergency Management Director Brian Husband agrees, but understands why many people who live in river cabins don't leave.

"People who live along rivers just understand the nature of rivers and know when to get out," he said. "That is their lifestyle, but state officials and FEMA officials don't recognize a river cabin as a permanent residence."

If people living in a river cabin claim FEMA or state benefits once, Husband said they might not be able to claim multiple benefits from the agencies because they understand the risks of living next to a river that could potentially flood.

Husband said people living in flood prone areas need to be vigilant of the latest information and potential evacuation instructions for their area.

"But if they are asked to leave, they really need to," he said.

To report flooding or a need for evacuation assistance, contact the Clay County Sheriff's Department at 446-2535.

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Most of the people I know who live down along the Eel River in Clay City have lived there for YEARS. I know people who have a cabin at the highest point above water level and remember when the Eel flooded to merely 12" below the deck of this cabin!! Believe me .. river dwellers respect the river.

-- Posted by Emmes on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 11:07 AM

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