Flooding Taking A Toll On Oklahoma Roads

Friday, July 6th 2007, 8:00 pm
By: News On 6

Widespread flooding across the state is taking a toll on several state highways. Ten are closed around the state, some for high water, others for the damage that water caused. The News On 6’s Ashli Sims went to Nowata County, she reports crews there are pulling 15 to 18 hour days to restore a road ravaged by flooding.

Crews are hauling, dumping, bulldozing and packing, all trying to put back what a raging Verdigris River took away. The damage was enough to surprise even veteran road workers.

"No, we hadn't had water up this high on this road at all," said Nowata County Supervisor Glenn Snavely.

"It's pretty bad,” ODOT driver Ennis Asberry said. “This is the first I seen it like this."

The rushing water, laden with debris, crumbled whole sections of asphalt, washed away three-quarters of a mile of the shoulder, and twisted the guardrail right off its wooden stumps.

"Half-mile of guardrail was gone on this side, and we lost about a tenth of a mile of guardrail on that side. It was laid across the highway and off in the water out there," said Snavely.

State Highway 28 is just one of several roads closed because of flooding, and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation asks that you pay attention to the barriers. That’s because even if there's not water on the road, there maybe crews working, and going around the barrier could put your life and others at risk.

"Please don't drive around them,” said Snavely. “We're working as quick as we can to get this back in shape."

Crews are working from sunup to way past sundown to make the roads passable.

"Fifteen hours a day. Right now on getting this done we're getting started at 7 o’clock in the morning and quitting at about 9:30, 10 p.m., and we're working ‘em on Sunday, whatever it takes to get to finished," Snavely said.

The crew on Highway 28 hopes to finish the job by Saturday night. That highway is often used for oversized loads, and the crew says there is a trucker patiently standing by to use the finished road.

Watch the video: Flood Damaged Roads

Related Story:

7/6/2007 Flooded Road Damage

For more flooding information, check out our STORM ZONE web page.