continued The department was nearly caught up from repairs from the last round of flooding following spring melt. Now, said Hitchcock, they'll be weeks or even months focused on the newly-needed repairs.
The biggest long-term problem for the roads was the rush of water.
“Anyplace there was a stream, it went over,” said Hitchcock.
Culverts are a weak spot. Even if the culvert is large enough to take the water, when debris is blown about and knocked from trees, the man-made waterways are easily blocked, he said.
All it takes is a couple of branches becoming lodged across the opening, then leaves, smaller branches and other vegetation will get trapped, damming up the culvert and overflowing the road, said Hitchcock.
Crews were already out with a wood chipper reducing the size of the wood that was cleared from the roadways, and most roads are opening up, said Hitchcock.
The worst damage was at Glen Creek Road to Thurman. The road around a bridge there was torn up by rushing waters, and the road is littered with boulders deposited by the fast-moving flood.
In addition to Glen Creek, Dippikill Road, Crane Mountain Road and Cleveland Road are closed and in need of repairs. Several people are stranded on the roads. Cleveland Road is not currently a priority because it only has one resident, said Hitchcock, and he's in Texas right now.