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Officials prepare as more heavy rain threatens
by Jebb Johnston
Jun 09, 2014 | 180 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A motorist passes over the crumpled portion of Farmington Road where heavy rainfall Saturday night washed out the roadway where a culvert had recently been installed. The road was closed for more than four hours while crews worked to repair the road. / Staff photo by Zack Steen
A motorist passes over the crumpled portion of Farmington Road where heavy rainfall Saturday night washed out the roadway where a culvert had recently been installed. The road was closed for more than four hours while crews worked to repair the road. / Staff photo by Zack Steen
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Several rounds of heavy rain since Thursday have put streets and drainage to the test.

Officials urge caution as a chance for flash flooding continues today.

“We’ve had some of the typical issues, some areas that we’ve had to manage, but nothing out of the ordinary for rain like this,” said Street Commissioner Philip Verdung. “We did some checks of the major waterways and bridges and culverts last week before all the rains started, and we are doing the same today trying to get prepared for the next round of rain.”

Whenever water is over the roadway, he encourages motorists to remember the rule of thumb: “Turn around, don’t drown.”

About 3.7 inches of rain has fallen since Thursday, according to observations at corinthweather.net, including about an inch that came down during storms before dawn Monday.

At worst, “Some of our main drainage canals were near the tops of their banks,” said Verdung.

He was concerned the potential for heavy rain last night and today could lead to some flooding of roadways around the the major drainage canals, in low-lying areas and at the Cass Street underpass.

The city has had a few trees down during the storms and reports of golfball size hail in Corinth during the severe storm that hit about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

If more flash flooding occurs, “We ask that people try to avoid those areas and be careful around the workers that are working on any problem areas,” said Verdung.

In Farmington, heavy rains washed out a portion of Farmington Road just east of the Exxon Central Mini Mart.

“I received a call around 7 p.m. Saturday night after the first round of storms came through,” said District Two Supervisor Dal Nelms. “The culvert installation near County Road 117 on Farmington Road was quickly eroding due to the heavy rainfall.”

Nelms said the road had collapsed approximately 2 feet on each side and the decision was made to close the road to traffic around 7:30 p.m.

“Road crews worked into the night rebuilding the shoulders of the road until we felt it was safe enough to reopen,” he said.

Buddy Ayers Construction assisted in the road rebuild. The Farmington Police Department and Farmington Volunteer Fire Department helped with traffic control.

“The installation on the culvert project was only half completed,” said Nelms. “Under normal circumstances, had the contractor had time to complete this project, this wouldn’t have happened. It was very inconvenient timing. Mother Nature was laughing at us.”

Nelms said the project will be completed as soon as the area gets a break in the rainy weather.

(Staff Writer Zack Steen contributed to this report.)
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