Flooding is a cause for concern

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Over the weekend Carriere received more than 2.5 inches of rain within three days, while other areas further south are said to have received upwards of 5 inches.
It doesn’t sound like much, but so much rain in such a short time have left creeks flooded and several sections of Old Kiln Road in south Pearl River County and north Hancock County washed out.
As I drove to the scene of a major washout between the intersections of N. Benville Road and Katie Drive on Sunday, I unknowingly passed over the scene of what would become another washout on Old Kiln Road. Not 30 minutes after arriving home I received messages from a county supervisor that a bridge along that road suffered a washout where the road connects to the bridge. All I could thinks was, “I just drove over that part of the road.”
Fortunately no one was injured in either of these incidents, but it made me think just how lucky I was and how dependent motorists are on the roads and their drainage features installed beneath.
When the dirt beneath a road is carried away by raging water, drivers are unaware until the road begins to collapse, and by then it could be too late.
Now the forecast calls for more rain, with chances of precipitation ranging from 50 percent to 30 percent until Saturday. This should be a cause for concern since the creeks are already at capacity, potentially leading to not only flooding, but other washouts.
What is also of concern is the fact that there is no way to tell when a road is too dangerous to drive on until the surface gives way.
While I don’t have a definitive solution to this problem, it wouldn’t take much to install sensors and lights to notify motorists that the base of a road has been washed away. This simple system would provide visual cues that would prevent them from driving over a collapsing road.

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