January 12, 2007--Posted at 6:17 p.m. CST
RANDOLPH COUNTY, AR--One of the hardest hit areas following the string of September 2006 storms was Randolph County.
Rolling hills, streams and rivers all contribute to the beauty in Randolph County, but those geographic features have officials preparing for the worst.
"We are privileged to have five rivers here in Randolph County, but when it comes to flooding it is devastating," said Randolph County Judge David Jansen.
Jansen and his road department maintain 1200 miles of roads. Back in September when they received 10 to 15 inches of rain, most of roads needed some work.
"We had 75% of our road system receive damage," said Jansen.
Over the past three months the county has worked overtime to repair the damage; however, the judge estimates they are only 60% of the way back.
"We got our roads in decent shape, but they are not going to be able to sustain a lot of rain on them," said Jansen.
Of particular concern to the road department are low water bridges. They say a three inch rain can leave bridges more than six inches under water, causing a major headache for the road department and residents alike.
"It's hard sleeping at night, wondering and anticipating what is going to happen," said Jansen.
With more rain on tap this weekend, the road department has been busy laying gravel, working on drainage pipes and culverts making sure the water has a place to go. Despite all the preparations, the county warns motorists to be careful.
"Do not take a chance crossing high water. It's an inconvenience, but it isn't worth your life," said Jansen.
While the judge is saying his prayers that the weekend weather doesn't dump too much rain on the county, he is also keeping an eye on the extended forecast.
"I am concerned too about how it is coming in after the rain with the freezing weather. That will destroy your road system just as quick as anything," said Jansen.