Muskogee County Railroads Set To Reopen
MUSKOGEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - Weeks after historic flooding Muskogee County Commissioners said they are making progress on reopening major roads and railroads.
County officials said one railroad served as a levee during flooding and the railroad holding back water was bittersweet. They said the railroad gave families extra hours to leave but when the water broke through it flooded miles of land in its path.
"This is one of the first spots where we started noticing the flooding,” said Muskogee County District 1 Engineer Danger DeShazo.
"Just to think of the sheer force that it took to do that is just amazing,” said DeShazo.
Just a few days ago this road was flooded. It would've been impossible to drive your car down it, let alone walk.
"You really don't realize how important roads are until can't drive on it anymore,” said DeShazo.
Today the water has receded leaving behind evidence of the sheer power of flood water.
"The track is just suspended,” said DeShazo.
Floodwater washed out gravel from underneath railroad tracks in this area.
"That is now an island. That was not there," said DeShazo.
When flood waters receded, they took chunks of Muskogee County roads with them leaving some roads looking like wallpaper peeling from the street.
DeShazo says almost all the roads are back open now in Muskogee County. Some of them might be long term projects.
"We do whatever it takes to get that road open. Whether it's one lane and putting material in a hole just to get to get access in there and then come back in and do improvements on it,” said DeShazo, “Our first priority is always safety."
Hundreds of families in Muskogee County have a long road ahead but County Commissioners say the reason they have made so much progress in such a short period of time is because of the unbelievable ways their team and the Muskogee County community has come together.
"We have just been blessed that God has brought us all together on one team to be able to come and if anything, to just be able to deal specifically with this tragedy,” said DeShazo.
Union Pacific says the railroads they have in the area are back up and running. Burlington Northern says they don't have any tracks under water in Oklahoma right now.