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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Flood waters wash out, close some county roads

  • Pottawatomie County drivers are asked to be cautious and watch for standing water and road closed signs, either because of high water on roadways or because runoff from nearly five inches of rainfall has washed out complete sections of roads in some areas.
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  • Pottawatomie County drivers are asked to be cautious and watch for standing water and road closed signs, either because of high water on roadways or because runoff from nearly five inches of rainfall has washed out complete sections of roads in some areas.
    District 1 Pottawatomie County commissioner Melissa Dennis said Monday she's waiting for water to go down in several places before crews can "start repairing."
    At a time when county crews were already busy trying to pick up debris from the May 19 tornadoes, "this flood presents a whole new set of problems" she said. "We have sections of roads that are gone."
    One of the worst in her area is NS 346 north of Hazel Dell Road, she said, where the roadway is "totally gone."
    A sinkhole in that roadway is 24 feet wide and about 18 feet deep, she said.
    Another problem area is Coker Road between Garrett's Lake Road and Westech Road, where a seven-foot wide hole is about 10 feet deep.
    While the Econtuchka bridge over the North Canadian River was already closed for needed repairs, swift currents and water out of the banks has caused water to go completely over that bridge, with low-lying areas, including Garrett's Lake Road east of SH 9A, still covered with flood waters.
    District 3 Commissioner Eddie Stackhouse said he has two roads shut down in his area, including River Road and Brangus Road, where the North Canadian is also backed up.
    Another area, he said, is Acme Road off Romulus Road, where a one-mile section is shut down. Until the water goes down, Stackhouse isn't sure how much of a crater they'll find on Acme Road.
    Stackhouse said at his house in Maud, his gauges have tallied about 12 inches of rainfall in the past few weeks, with most helping the drought but the last four inches of precipitation causing problems in many areas.
    Stackhouse, who said he is worried about more chances of rain this week, said they are closely watching Hardesty Road between Harrison and Brangus, which is often a problem area for floodwaters.
    With area creeks and rivers already high, any additional rainfall has nowhere to go, he said.
    Stackhouse, who cautions drivers to remain aware, reminds motorists not to drive into areas of water.
    "If you see standing water, turn around," he said, adding many areas have permanent signs warning against driving into high water for a reason.
    "People think they can still drive through it," he said, "but there could be no road."
    District 2 Commissioner Randy Thomas, who has much of the tornado-damaged areas in his district, said they've been working on picking up debris but the flooding issues did cause some more issues for crews, who were out all weekend and are working nine-hour days, six days a week.
    Page 2 of 2 - He said he did have to barricade parts of Bethel Road in his district, and some areas of Bethel Road further north remained closed Monday.
    Watch for updates.
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