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Pierce County is inundated with water

By Staff | Apr 15, 2011

Drivers in Pierce County are advised to use extreme caution when driving on township and county roads. Many are closed due to water over the roads.

Motorists are strongly urged by authorities not to go around barriers which are put up for public safety. The water is the result of a quick melting of all the snow that the county received, especially in recent weeks.

“This is the most water I have seen in this county since I have been here,” said Sheriff and Emergency Manager Matt Lunde. “We have had to make more barricades as they all have been used.”

Lunde said he has been talking to other counties and it is the same over most of the state. “There’s nowhere for the water to go anymore.”

Joe Bohl, county commissioner, representing the NE District of the county said that he estimates 20-25 roads closed just in that district’s five townships. Infrastructure is beginning to suffer. Potholes and collapsing culverts have become a problem just since last week.

“We could have handled it if we would have had a slower pace of melt, ” said Bohl. “In that case we would have been just fine.”

However, the snow melted quickly and the water has eroded parts of the roads.

“Don’t try to cross any holes,” cautioned Bohl. “The road may just crumble beneath.”

The county commissioners have been out touring the county and overseeing the posting of signage and barricades.

“Three or four farmers in just this district are close to having no access,” said Bohl. “They may have to park a vehicle beyond the rough spots and walk or boat into and out of their farmyards if it comes to that.”

“People will have to be patient,” added Bohl.

Some roads continue to have frozen culverts so it may take some time to get roads back .

Both the sheriff’s department and the county commission are asking residents to have little or no heavy equipment traffic on any county roads, either gravel or paved roadways. Officials have noticed severe deterioration of all roadways in all parts of the county.

“This deterioration of the roadways could cause potential harm to anyone who may try to travel on these roads,” said Sheriff Lunde. “This harm increases dramatically when heavy equipment such as tractors, grain trucks, or any implements of husbandry, try to travel roadways and add severe stress to roadways that are already unstable.”

This road travel advisory will remain in effect, depending on weather conditions, for approximately 7-10 days or until further notice. This advisory is strongly urged to ensure the safety of the residents in Pierce County or anyone who may be traveling or planning to travel on the roadways here in Pierce County.

“We apologize to everyone for the inconvenience, but this advisory is for the safety of all,” said Sheriff Lunde.

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