It doesn’t take much for the West Fork River to rise, especially after a heavy rain. But when it does, what does that mean for our roads?
Back in February, a flooding event left many roads in Harrison County damaged, and crews are now beginning to fix them.
A slip in Good Hope on Route 19 south completely washed away the bank and crumbled the road. The damage was done by a flooding event months ago.
So, why the delay in getting the road fixed? The Division of Highways has to determine whether or not Federal Emergency Management Agency funds apply to this situation.
“We have to come out and do an inspection on it. We request that FEMA look into the disaster and declares it. Once it’s declared, there’s funds put aside where we can come back, and we can either repair it and get reimbursed, or they’ll, they’ll actually help us and assist with the repairs,” said Earl Gaskins, area supervisor for DOH district 4.
The DOH received notification that FEMA did declare a flood in February as a disaster, and it would receive funding to repair the hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. Until the repairs start, some people disregard just how dangerous this slip is.
“If you get over next to that slip area, there is a potential that you could fall into the, into the slip,” explained Gaskins.
The speed limit on this stretch of road is 35 mph, with some curves requiring drivers to slow down even more. When one lane is closed for repairs, the DOH said it hopes drivers will respect the work zone and drive cautiously.
“We want to drive steel piling down into the ground, and put lagging up, and then give it a good solid foundation, and then we’re going to build up the road from there,” added Gaskins.
The DOH just fixed a similar slip on Route 19 north in Gore, created when water didn’t drain properly from the road.