What the flooding means for Erath County

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Flood waters rush through drainage maintained by Erath County road crews. || BRAD KEITH photo

By JESSIE HORTON

TheFlashToday.com NEWS & SPORTS – FREE & LOCAL

ERATH COUNTY (May 26, 2015) — Water, water everywhere… And it’s not as if we aren’t grateful, we’re just a bit waterlogged.

Erath County residents went from seeing well below average rainfall totals last year to seeing well about the average totals for April and May 2015. According to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, the city of Stephenville has seen well over 20 inches for the first six months of 2015. The NWS also recorded Erath County has having more than six inches over the predicted rainfall totals for the months of April and May.

A bit of the road is missing here. Once repaired, Erath County drivers will pass over this drainage pipe. || JESSIE HORTON photos
A bit of the road is missing here. Once repaired, Erath County drivers will pass over this drainage pipe. || JESSIE HORTON photos
A bit of the road is missing here. Once repaired, Erath County drivers will pass over this drainage pipe. || JESSIE HORTON photos
A bit of the road is missing here. Once repaired, Erath County drivers will pass over this drainage pipe. || JESSIE HORTON photos
A bit of the road is missing here. Once repaired, Erath County drivers will pass over this drainage pipe. || JESSIE HORTON photos
A bit of the road is missing here. Once repaired, Erath County drivers will pass over this drainage pipe. || JESSIE HORTON photos

While those totals mean things are more green than they’ve been in years, it also means major damage done to county roads, structures and property around the area. Not only has Erath County seen large rainfall totals, the area has also experienced high winds and large hail that had brought down trees and caused major damage.

Erath County Commissioner Joe Brown, Pct. 3, said on Tuesday, that he has had to close several roads in his precinct due to flood waters. Including Sunfish Point in Mountain Lakes and County Road 179 at the County Road 180 intersection off US Highway 377. Brown said county road crews were out in both areas working to get those roads open as quickly as possible.

The damage done on CR 179 was extensive and crews were forced to close that road for the second time in as many weeks. According to Brown, the high, fast-moving water completely washed the roadway around the culverts out.

Crews were putting road base and rocks in the washed out area around the two large culverts in an attempt to make the roadway passable. Last weekend, county crews repaired CR 179 in the same location with road base and wet mix, however, the flood waters Saturday night were too much, and the road was again closed. Until the road is reopened, Brown said residents that live in the area will have to go around.

County crews were hard at work Tuesday morning attempting to repair roadway damage to closed roads in Erath County. || JESSIE HORTON photos
County crews were hard at work Tuesday morning attempting to repair roadway damage to closed roads in Erath County. || JESSIE HORTON photos

Brown, along with Texas Highway Patrol Sr. Trooper and Public Information Officer Dub Gillum, reminded residents of the hazards of flood waters and not following instructions by officials during dangerous conditions. Gillum said don’t let the sunshine in coming days lull you into letting your guard down.

“Flood waters continue to rise as waters from northern counties comes down rivers and streams into our local lakes,” he said. “Not only does it put your life at risk to drive around a barricade, but it puts the lives of the emergency responders at risk as well.”

According to information provided by the Texas DPS, it only takes two feet of flood water to float a 3,00-pound car. And it is a Class B misdemeanor to drive around a high-water barricade – this means up to $2,000 fine and 180 days in county jail.

TEX TN. CODE ANN. § 472.022 : Texas Statutes – Section 472.022: OBEYING WARNING SIGNS AND BARRICADES – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/txstatutes/TN/6/Z/472/C/472.022#sthash.wGrGb2DH.dpuf

(a)    A person commits an offense if the person:(1) disobeys the instructions, signals, warnings, or markings of a warning sign; or(2) drives around a barricade.(b) This section does not apply to:(1) a person who is following the directions of a police officer; or(2) a person, including an employee of the department, a political subdivision of this state, or a contractor or subcontractor, whose duties require the person to go beyond or around a barricade.(c) Each violation of this section is a separate offense.(d) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $1 or more than $200, except that:(1) if the offense is committed in a construction or maintenance work zone when workers are present and any written notice to appear issued for the offense states on its face that workers were present when the offense was committed, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $2 or more than $400; or(2) if a person commits an offense under Subsection (a) where a warning sign or barricade has been placed because water is over any portion of a road, street, or highway, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.(e) In this section:(1) “Barricade” means an obstruction:(A) placed on or across a road, street, or highway of this state by the department, a political subdivision of this state, or a contractor or subcontractor constructing or repairing the road, street, or highway under authorization of the department or a political subdivision of this state; and(B) placed to prevent the passage of motor vehicles over the road, street, or highway during construction, repair, or dangerous conditions.(2) “Construction or maintenance work zone” means a portion of a highway or street:(A) where highway construction or maintenance is being undertaken, other than mobile operations as defined by the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices; and(B) that is marked by signs:(i) indicating that it is a construction or maintenance work zone;(ii) indicating where the zone begins and ends; and(iii) stating: “Fines double when workers present.”(3) “Warning sign” means a signal, marking, or device placed on a barricade or on a road, street, or highway during construction, repair, or dangerous conditions by the department, a political subdivision of this state, or a contractor or subcontractor to warn or regulate motor vehicular traffic. The term includes a flagger deployed on a road, street, or highway by the department, a political subdivision of this state, or a contractor or subcontractor to direct traffic around or on the road, street, or highway during construction, repair, or dangerous conditions.(f) Articles 45.051 and 45.0511, Code of Criminal Procedure, do not apply to an offense under this section committed in a construction or maintenance work zone when workers are present.

See more at:(b) http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/txstatutes/TN/6/Z/472/C/472.022#sthash.wGrGb2DH.dpuf .

For more information see:

  • Flash Flood Safety Tips

https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/Preparedness/tips/flashFloodSafetyTips.htm

  • TDEM (Texas Division of Emergency Management)

https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/ThreatAwareness/floodSafetyAwareness.htm


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