Heavy rains close 24 roads
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, December 29, 2015
BY MICHAEL SHIPMA:
More than 20 county roads and two roads within Troy city limits remained closed Monday as a result of more than 12 inches of rain in some parts of Pike County last week.
Add to that more rains on Monday, the emergency management officials are concerned more damage could occur.
“The Pike County Road Department is utilizing all personnel to perform a countywide assessment of country roads,” Pike County EMA Director Jeanna Barnes said in a statement. “With additional severe weather forecast for (Monday), there is a real possibility of additional damages that may cause hazardous travel conditions. The Pike County Commission urges all citizens and anyone who may be traveling the Pike County roads to use extreme caution.”
According to a graphic from the National Weather Service in Birmingham, Pike County received 8.48 inches of rain over a six-day period ending at 7 a.m. Saturday, with more on the way. However, Barnes said initial reports had some areas of southeast Pike County receiving 12-15 inches. Barnes said the roads damaged due to heavy rains and washing could remain closed for several days.
“Road repairs may be a long process, as there has been extensive damage throughout the county,” she said. “It is very likely many of these roads will remain closed this week or longer.”
Barnes said Gov. Robert Bentley has declared a state of emergency for the entire state, due to the flooding. Because of that, Barnes said officials are asking any residents or business owners who sustained damage due to rains or flooding contact the EMA to file a report. The EMA will help coordinate the efforts for potential federal aid.
An unusually warm and rainy December so far has caused many officials to be constantly concerned for the safety of local roads and those who travel on them.
“This is the first time in a long time that I can remember this unseasonably warm weather, topped off by heavy rain showers and flooding,” said Steve Jarrett, Alabama Law Enforcement Spokesman. “I can’t recall anything like it in recent memory.”
And while troopers are trained to adapt to the treacherous driving conditions, Jarrett warned that many motorists do not adapt as well.
“We do often see an increase in traffic crashes whenever it rains or snows, simply because people do not slow down,” Jarrett added. “A lot of people don’t realize that the speed limit is for ideal conditions, and when it’s raining or some other kind of inclement weather, that’s not ideal weather. Motorists should reduce their speed in those situations. Oftentimes they don’t, which results in more traffic accidents.”
The City of Troy roads that remained closed on Monday include the 400 block of First Avenue and Spradley Drive at Wilson Drive.
The 22 county roads closed as of Monday include, County Roads 2221; 2223 John Anderson Road; 2244; 2250; 2278; 2289; 2307; 2258; 2273; 3338; 3328; 4427; South; 4427 North; 4407; 4412; 6650; 6648; 6647; 6632 East; 6632 West; 7761; and 7718.