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County assessing damage after flood

The rushing flood waters, pictured on Sunday, caused minimal damage to the Thomas Bridge. The water has since receded and county workers gave the newly built bridge a thorough inspection.

The St. Francois County Road and Bridge Department was out on Monday assessing the damage to the county roads and bridges.

Road and Bridge Supervisor Wendell Jarvis said surprisingly they only have a couple of areas that will need repair.

“Some asphalt washed up on Thomas Bridge that we will have to repair and there is a spot on Old Jackson Road,” said Jarvis. “Other than that there isn’t a whole lot of damage. Now once the water completely goes down we will have to take a look at these bridges and make sure there isn’t anything we can’t see now.”

Jarvis said there just wasn’t a lot of damage, but to estimate what does need to be repaired on the high end it will cost $30,000.

“... which isn’t bad for the weekend that we have had,” said Jarvis. “Like I said, we have bridges we need to get down and look at to make sure they are intact and everything is looking good underneath there. We won’t know that until the water is completely down.”

Jarvis added county crews were out cleaning up some debris and checking ditches and bridges on Monday. He said Old St. Louis Road always washes out. The creek crosses the road three different times.

“It’s just a gravel road. We always get damage there,” said Jarvis. “It’s one of those roads that’s not worth putting asphalt on because it washes away every time it rains. We have had steady crews out since Friday night and some of the crew who worked all night long will be going home to get some rest.”

Most of the low-water crossings were still flooded Monday.

Road and Bridge Supervisor John Gross said they have some gravel roads like Old St. Louis Road in the north part of the county, and Coldwater which is in the south part of the county, which were also impassable. Old St. Louis Road will require one of their graders to repair the road.

“We have had crews running since 2 a.m. Saturday morning and we had crews stationed overnight Saturday at Cedar Falls and Pratte Road,” said Gross. “As well as Vo-Tech Road due to the flooding.”

Gross said as of Monday morning Raby Road was impassable. 

"Raby Road should be repaired by the end of today (Monday)," he said, "and Old St. Louis we are looking at Tuesday or Wednesday before we get up there.”

Gross said the forecast allowed them to prepare ahead. 

“We were a little more prepared this time, I guess you could say, with the way we did our planning,” said Gross. “We went and purchased some rock just in case the quarries were closed over the weekend and we couldn’t get into them.”

The Missouri Department of Transportation has closed several local state routes in Southeast Missouri due to the recent flooding. In addition, motorists were encouraged to watch for flash flooding. MoDOT crews will continually monitor state routes, but motorists are also urged to stop and turn around if they discover a roadway is covered by water.

Motorists were encouraged to use extreme caution and plan alternate routes. 

For more information on state road closures contact MoDOT's Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636) or visit the Traveler Information Map at http://traveler.modot.org/map/?district=SOUTHEAST

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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