May 14, 2014 Edition

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Flooding causes damage
to many roads in LawCo.

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

During Monday's Quorum Court meeting, County Judge Dale Freeman reported that 70 percent of the roads in the western part of Lawrence County received some damage due to flooding caused by the April 27 storms.

Damages ranged from minor issues to roads being complete washed out, however, Freeman said that most of the damage was significant. FEMA has come to Lawrence County to provide disaster assistance. The judge said damages are currently estimated at $683,000, but that number is expected to increase substantially.

Many roads remain underwater with only one lane of traffic open. Freeman said that as waters lower, they are finding additional areas that were washed out by the flooding.

In addition to repairing damaged roads, the county is looking to replace its low water bridges with culvert bridges. Freeman said that the county's low water bridges received some of the worst damage. FEMA will assist with the cost to replace the bridges, and studies will be conducted on each bridge to determine what kind of culvert bridge would work best for flooding tendencies in that area.

Additional flooding is a concern due to rain forecasted throughout the week. "Another 3-4-inch rain would put us in terrible shape," Freeman said.

Also at the meeting:

  • the revised personnel policy was tabled until next month to allow justices time to review it. The draft has been approved by County Attorney Dick Jarboe.

  • approximately $17,000 was appropriated to the road department fund. The money represented state aid from the 2011 flooding.

  • the Sedgwick Volunteer Fire Department was appropriated $2,196.11, which represents protection premium tax funds from Act 833 for 1991.

  • Justice Junior Briner with the Rails to Trails committee reported that damages caused to a bridge on the trail when an intoxicated driver attempted to drive over it will cost $1,700 to repair. He said insurance is expected to cover it.

  • Freeman reported that 260 Lawrence County residents have voted thus far. He said that he expects a low turnout if numbers stay as they have been.

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