ROADS HARD HIT BY RAINS, FLOOD

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Here’s a look at Kiln Road along the Turkey River just upstream of Osterdock.

By Pat McTaggart

Freelance Writer

 

The heavy rains of the past few weeks have put a heavier work load on the county’s Secondary Roads Department.  “It was more in the northern part of the county, but locally, it’s bad all over,” County Engineer Rafe Koopman said.  “There are a lot more mud spots than we usually see and we need to be hauling spot rock to handle the problem.”

Koopman said that the biggest problem has been the constant rain.  “We never really had a chance to set up,” he said.  “When we can get out, it will increase our workload.  We are also dealing with a detour by Garnavillo.  That detour has to be maintained because of the heavy traffic on it.”

The plan is to get the roads up to par by the harvest season.  Koopman said that there will probably heavier river traffic to grain terminals, which makes it essential to fix the roads.

“We just need a break in the weather, and it looks like we are going to get that break soon,” he said.  “Fortunately, we ended the fiscal year quite well, so we have money to purchase rock.”

“We strongly recommend that Secondary Roads use that excess money to get that rock,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Ron McCartney said.  “They are really making an effort to get the rock where it is needed.  We will have to put off some projects to work on the roads that became so waterlogged.”

Koopman said that it was the rain, not local flooding, that caused most of the damage.  “However, the river did tear out a portion of the bank near Osterdock,” he added.  “We will have to do some rip-rapping there, but overall, the dollar amount hasn’t been overly costly from flooding.”

The cost for getting the county roads back in shape has not yet been figured.  County Emergency Management Agency Administrator Sarah Moser said that state and FEMA officials have assessed damages, but she has not yet received those figures.  She is also waiting to see if a presidential disaster declaration is signed so that federal funds can then become available. 

 

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