As the skies began to clear Tuesday morning, county commissioners said the work to repair damage for recent flooding would be ongoing for some time. And there is more rain to come at the end of the week which could result in additional problems.
Commissioner Jeff Whitmire said one particular spot in his county is likely to take months to repair.
Cedar Road in Luella is washed out adjacent to the bridge. Whitmire said it is a good example of why experts advise people never to drive into water that covers the roadway.
The road literally collapsed in a section and left cars vulnerable to falling into the creek bed below, but the water rushing over the top would have prevented drivers from knowing that.
Whitmire said works put up barriers to keep people from crossing the roadway, but people moved them.
That, he said, not only endangered the people who moved the barricade but all of those who came upon the road afterward and the first responders who had to come out to help anyone who might have fallen prey to the damaged roadway.
“We can’t do anything until the water drops sufficiently to get heavy equipment in there,” Whitmire said of the plans to fix the road. “I would estimate at least two months before the road is reopened,” he added. He said the bridge was already on the state’s list of structures to replace and county officials are working to try to get the project moved up on the state’s list.
The road conditions were expected to improve during the middle part of the week as the rain chances decreased but local weather forecast call for more rain come Friday. National Weather Service Meteorologist Dan Huckabee said there is a slight chance the North Texas, Southern Oklahoma area could see more rain this week, but the best chances are for Friday. That event, he said, could be significant and could drop up to an additional half inch to an inch of rain.
Grayson County Airport has reported 4.02 inches of rain in the last week and reports show that 4.96 inches of rain have fallen in Sherman over the same period. For the month of October, so far, the area has reported between five to six inches of rain. “And the month is only half over,” Huckabee said.
Last week, State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon told the Herald Democrat September likely will be among the wettest months on record for the state. Meteorologists predict that the region could see as much as 10 inches of rainfall for October by month’s end. Huckabee said October is generally a wet month for this area, but this month is going above and beyond.
Herald Democrat reporter Michael Hutchins contributed to this report.