Monday, May 11, 2015

County Commissioners Work to Repair Flooded Roads

Sequoyah County Commissioners were working hard over the weekend and into Monday repairing road damages caused by flooding and over 5 inches of rain in the county reported by the National Weather Service.

Jim Rogers, District 3 Commissioner, roughly estimated damages to his roads at over $100,000. His crews were still working Monday to repair the washed-out roads. District 2 Commissioner Steve Carter said damages in his district on the west end of the county weren't as bad, but he had no damage estimate as of Monday afternoon. He said the only impassable area in his district was at low water bridge on Drake Road south of Sallisaw. That low-water crossing was still under three to four feet of water. District 1 Commissioner Ray Watts said he had one bad wash-out area (pictured above) on East 1100 Road, south of U.S. Highway 64 between Muldrow and Roland. Residents had other access roads to their homes he said.

Watts said the commissioners will be turning in the formal estimate of damages to Steve Rutherford, County Emergency Management director, on Tuesday. That is the first step in getting state money to reimburse the commissioners for the damages. To get assistance from the U.S. government, or FEMA, the governor has to first declare a state of emergency. Carter said the county has to have at least $130,000 in damages to qualify.

Rogers said his crews were working to repair wash-outs on South 4640 Road, off State Highway 141; on a couple of wash-outs in the Nicut area; and on the old Radio Station Road.

"We will work until we get all the roads fixed so people can get in and out," Rogers said. He said his district includes 300 road miles.

Carter said his crews have worked since 1 a.m. Friday on road repairs, but much of it was removing fallen trees and debris. He said he had minor wash-outs, including a couple west of Vian, north of Gore, north of Sallisaw, and two bad wash-outs in Marble City. All were passable as of Monday afternoon except for the low-water bridge still under on Sallisaw's south side. Carter has 389 miles of county roads in his district.

Watts said he may have to bid out repairs on East 1100 Road, because the damage was estimated at over $15,000, which requires the bid process. He said bidding the repair would not slow the repair. "I want to get the road open as fast as we can," he said.

Watts has 200 miles of county roads in his district in the east end of the county.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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