Rain may add to road misery

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Area officials are forecasting transportation trouble should theheavy rains forecast for Tuesday night and Wednesday pour down.

“It’s going to hit us hard,” said District Three SupervisorNolan Earl Williamson.

The city has recorded nearly four inches of rain at the WasteWater Treatment Plant since Sunday. A flood watch has been issuedfor this area through Wednesday.

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Williamson said workers in his district are still trying torepair damage from the heavy rain earlier this month. Any morecould cause serious problems, he said.

“We’ve had three weeks of heavy rains, and we just can’t takeany more,” he said.

Several roads in District Three are already down to one lane oftraffic, he said. Some places repaired have washed out again.

“Some of them have already been repaired twice,” Williamsonsaid. “It just won’t let up long enough for us to fix themproperly.”

Williamson said roads now down to one lane include Raiford,Dixon, Fox, and McCullough. Preliminary reports indicate there mayalso be others that he is not aware of yet, he said.

Fortunately, he said, no new bridges have had to be closed.

District Two Supervisor Bobby Watts is in Washington this weekworking to secure more federal funding for local roads, but hiswife Audrey said the district is “OK.”

“(Crews) went out all day yesterday and fixed all the wash-outsthey found,” she said. “We haven’t had any major damage yet.”

She was worried what Wednesday would bring, though.

“I don’t know what tonight holds though. They’re forecastingsome pretty heavy rains,” she said.

Williamson recommended drivers travel with caution Wednesdaymorning and said they may want to avoid low-lying roads ifpossible. Hog Chain, Mt. Olive and Junction Roads, Legacy Lane andTopisaw Drive are traditionally easily flooded, he added.

The situation appears somewhat brighter in Lawrence County, butCivil Defense Director Robert Patterson also urged caution.

“It’s going to close some roads, I imagine,” he said, “but Idon’t think we’ll be in dire straits. I imagine some roads willclose temporarily until the water recedes.”

Rains yesterday closed Hoover Hammond and River Roads around2:30 p.m. They were reopened later yesterday for regulartraffic.

“They weren’t damaged badly, water just closed them in,” hesaid. “It just rose too fast and when the water receded theyreopened it.”

Although Lawrence County reported no home damage, a house on OldHighway 51 here was damaged.