Flood waters wash away road in Alexander County

People are still battling high waters in Alexander County, Illinois. As we head deeper into winter, the cold weather is causing problems as crews work to remove mud and debris from roads that were once covered by water. 

"It’s just froze solid to the road," says Jeff Denny, Alexander County engineer. "So you’re not pealing the mud off."

Which is why you’ll still see a lot of road closed signed posted.

Denny says even though the water is gone in some areas, there’s still debris and mud that could cause complications for travelers, like flat tires or slick spots; but that’s only one of Denny’s worries right now. 

"We’re kind of concerned about how much road damage we’re going to have," says Denny.

The river’s swift-moving current has already ripped apart one road near Olive Branch.

"Hundred foot of road just completely gone," says Denny. "We put gravel in there, so kind of got it temporary back so the residents can get in and out."

Denny says crews have been out on the roads filling in those areas washed away by the water, but he says the worst is yet to come. 

"The hardest hit areas, the river is still flowing across," says Denny.

So, who’s paying for these damages? Denny says the Federal Highway Administration has an emergency program to pay for some of the repairs, while other roads are eligible to get help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Only time will tell the amount of damage this flood has created. 

Denny says, as the water continues to go down, he hopes to have more roads cleaned up and opened to traffic in the next few days.

On Thursday, the American Red Cross will be hosting an event where flood victims can get advice on clean up. It’s from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Horseshoe Lake Community Center in Olive Branch, Illinois. 

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