For local leaders throughout Grayson County, the road to recovery from storm damage from flooding and heavy rains earlier this summer has been a long one fraught with potholes. As flood waters continue to recede, up to six inches each day in some areas, leaders warn that it may be some time before some roadways are fully repaired.

For local leaders throughout Grayson County, the road to recovery from storm damage from flooding and heavy rains earlier this summer has been a long one fraught with potholes. As flood waters continue to recede, up to six inches each day in some areas, leaders warn that it may be some time before some roadways are fully repaired.


In an average year, crews with the city of Sherman patch about 500 potholes in city streets, said Public Works and Engineering Director Clay Barnett Tuesday. For 2015, this number has risen to more than 1,000. "And the year is only half over," Barnett said.


Barnett said the city’s first priority is to repair damage to N. Travis Street near U.S. Highway 75. This project, however, has been delayed due to difficulties finding repair materials. Barnett said this is likely due to many cities, municipalities and the Texas Department of Transportation attempting to do roadway repairs at the same time.


Barnett said some trouble spots, including a sinkhole at the intersection of Jones and 1st Street, have since been repaired. However, other projects are expected to require additional engineering work to complete.


Barnett said the city is expected to bid repairs to the slope at Kessler Boulevard together with another project on the Fallon Street bridge. "Because they are similar, we think we can get some cost savings by bidding them together," Barnett said, estimating the cost at $350,000.


Barnett said the Sherman City Council is expected to accept a bid for engineering work on the slope of Hunt Street during its next meeting.


County Commissioner Bart Lawrence said repairs have been delayed as damage assessors from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other relief groups are still calculating the damage in the area. "We are finding more all the time," he said.


For Precinct 4, Lawrence said, some areas are still underwater and have been for a month or more. While the entire series of storms was damaging, Lawrence said, the vast majority of the damage to his precinct came after the storms on Father’s Day.


"I’ve had some roads that within the last week have finally gotten the water off of them," Lawrence said.


It is this long period of submersion that is causing the most damage, he said. As these roads remain underwater, the sub-grade underneath the roadway becomes weak and over saturated, he said, using Terry Lane as an example of this type of damage.


While the roadway, located between Hagerman Road and Refuge Road, is still passable, Lawrence said repairs to ensure no further damage are in the near future. While he expects Terry Lane to be closed temporarily during these repairs, Lawrence said these closures will likely be brief and during non-peak hours.


While much of the damage in Precinct 4 came from the rising waters of Lake Texoma, for Precinct 3, it was the waters of Lake Ray Roberts to the south that proved to be a challenge.


Commissioner Phyllis James said Horseshoe Road, located between Tioga and Collinsville, remains underwater near the lake. Repairs are expected to continue to the bridge on County Line Church Road, located near Whitesboro. James said the roadway was damaged by flooding waters and a tree that was swept into the rushing waters of the creek.


"Other than that, we are working on repairing the roadways as soon as possible," James said, noting all other roadways are passable.


Precinct 1 Commissioner Jeff Whitmire said the damages to his area have been less extensive than other areas of the county. The majority of the damage he has surveyed is related to creeks and other waterways that have washed out the back end of the roadway, he said.


While most of the problem spots will be repaired for less than $3,000 each, Whitmire said, damage to Jim Jones Road, located near Van Alstyne, will cost nearly $25,000. Whitmire said he is working with FEMA on improvement projects for the site to prevent the damage from reoccurring in the future.


While Whitmire said he does not want to increase the County expenses, he believes that the roadway’s have been underfunded in the past, leading to some of the damage that occurred in the storms.


Commissioner David Whitlock said the repairs in Precinct 2 are likely to extend into the next year. "It has been a slow process, I can tell you that," Whitlock said, describing the damage from flooding, a tornado in May, and debris clean up from weeks of repeated storms.


Years of drought, that caused soil and sub-grade to shrink, and then heavy flooding has caused many roadways to weaken. At its peak, Whitlock said, four roads were completely closed to the public. "We are trying to open up the roads as soon as possible, but we have to make sure they are safe," Whitlock said.


While Seven Hills Road, which collapsed on Father’s Day, has since been repaired enough to allow traffic, Whitlock said damages to bridges, including those on Trail Road and Randell Lake Road, which stretches from Denison into the county, is going to require more extensive repairs.


Although extensive damage was caused simply by over-saturated soil, Denison Public Works Director David Howerton said the "lion’s share" was caused by moving water and flood waters rushing over roadways. This includes extensive damage to the intersection of S. Chandler Avenue and W.Monterrey Street, Lake Randell Road, which eroded during storms in late May, and potholes throughout the city.


"There is tens of thousands of dollars of repairs needed to the roads," Howerton said.


Howerton said priority was placed in reopening Loy Lake Road, which received heavy flooding on Father’s Day. City crews and FEMA workers are still reviewing the damage at Chandler for the possibility of federal aid, Howerton said. Repairs to other roadways are expected to continue into the fall.


"It took two months to do the damage," Howerton said. "It is going to take some time to repair it."