Rising Waters Crumble Roads In Pittsburg County

Thursday, September 9th 2010, 5:32 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

UNDATED --- Flash flooding took a toll on county roads and bridges all across Eastern Oklahoma Thursday morning.

Emergency Management leaders and county commissioners in several areas are out getting a look at a lot of the damage left behind and they're looking at a lot of work ahead.

9/9/2010 Related Story: Heavy Rains Flood Several Eastern Oklahoma Communities And Counties

Just two weeks ago, Pittsburg County road crews finished putting down a new chip-asphalt layer on Rock Creek Road, and now, they're facing cleanup from flooding.

"Mother nature is pretty wicked sometimes," said Donald Mathis, Pittsburg County Commissioner.

Mother nature was very wicked. One creek rose 14 feet, after eight inches of rain fell in a short amount of time.

"Oklahoma, or Pittsburg County I don't know, it's either feast or famine every time you know," Mathis said.

The rushing water washed out the road, crumpled the metal tin horns, and left behind quite a job ahead for road crews.

"It just goes to show you how powerful it can be," he said.

The heavy rain from Hermine caused damage to a number of county roads in the northern part of Pittsburg County.

Mathis said he's amazed at the destructive power water can have.

"It's just kind of mind boggling really," he said. "To see what damage it can do in just a short period of time."

The remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine weren't just destructive. They're also expensive. When you factor in manpower, and the cost of materials and equipment, fixing this damage will cost about $30,000. Across Pittsburg County the damage adds up to about $200,000.

Despite the cost, Mathis is just thankful a nearby resident discovered what happened before someone ran off the road. And like many, he's also thankful for the rain but not so much the damage it left behind.

"We needed a little, we didn't need quite this much," he said.

Crews will remove the damaged tin horns within a few days and anticipate getting the road repaired and reopened next week.

Eleven roads in Southern McIntosh County also had to be closed because of washouts. Some of those have since reopened.

Several businesses and the county jail in Eufaula also flooded.

Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry declared a State of Emergency for 13 counties that sustained damage from the storm. The counties included in the declaration are: Adair, Bryan, Carter, Cherokee, Delaware, Haskell, LeFlore, McIntosh, Muskogee, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Sequoyah and Wagoner.

More counties will be added if deemed necessary.

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