Only three public roads remain closed due to storm damage

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 17, 2019

Within Pearl River County three roads remain closed due to damage caused by Saturday’s rain event.

Road Department Manager Charlie Schielder said that sections of John Smith Road, Roadrunner Road and County Farm Road remain closed due to washout damage sustained during the storm’s heavy rains and subsequent flooding.

He has ordered some material to repair culverts along John Smith Road and said it may take a couple of weeks for the supplies to arrive so repairs can be conducted. About 300 feet of that road was damaged. The plan is to install extra culverts to ensure the road does not wash out again.

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The only road that will require a contractor to fix it is County Farm Road. Schielder said he is working with Les Dungan of Dungan Engineering to determine a plan of action to fix the section of the road that acted like a dam for a pond before it failed and washed out.

A washout near a bridge on Springhill Road has been repaired, and crews were out the night of the storm fixing a washout on Shenandoah Road to ensure the residents there could still use the road. Schielder said that the repair on Shenandoah Road required crushed concrete covered by limestone.

While all public roads are either open or have alternate routes where residents can get in and out of their homes, there is a private road, Flagstaff Street, which turns into Cherokee Road, that washed out in the Hillsdale area. Schielder said that since it is a private road, the county is unable to conduct repairs to it.

There was a major issue the road department faced during the flooding that followed the rainstorm, theft of warning devices. Schielder said motorists and residents appeared to have tampered with the road cones and barrels that were placed to notify them of flooded roads. The cones and barrels were either pushed to the side of the road into the flood waters, stolen or run over.

“It was so bad that we ran out and Danny (Manley) had to reach out to MDOT to get some more,” Schielder said.

He asks county residents to be mindful of those warning devices in the future and leave them where the road crews put them to ensure all motorists are aware of the dangers associated with flooded roads.