COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – Portions of northwest Alabama remain under a flood warning Thursday evening. While the Tennessee River continues to slowly drop, road crews are dealing with quite a few areal flood issues. Barricades continue to block several roads in Colbert County. Crews say could be days, weeks, and even in a couple of cases months before vehicles will be traveling on them again.
“We just don’t have anywhere to pump the water,” explained Colbert County Engineer John Bedford. “That seems to be the biggest problem we are battling right now. We can’t take it to the other side of the road because there is a roadway pipe that just brings it back.”
Bedford said the ground was already heavily saturated even before last week’s rains came. The chance of the roadbeds getting damaged increases as they continue to be submerged.
“Just as the ground percolates, it has a tendency to pull itself down,” Bedford said. “So we are out trying to inspect our bridges and our culverts and our pipes. But we will just have to wait until the water gets off these areas. I have never seen anything like this in my time here with the county.”
Road crews have also been dealing with landslides through-out the county. Frankfort Road normally sees 2,000 cars a day on Wheeler Mountain. Barricades now block it as engineers identify just how bad the damage is.
“That mountain will have to be dug out,” Bedford stated. “We are identifying about a 300-foot slide on it. The road is closed. I caution the people who are going around the barricades and moving them, you might come down there and the whole mountain may be gone.”
Barricades are placed on the road for a reason. Don’t be the driver who goes around them to save yourself a couple of minutes. You are not only putting yourself in danger but those who will likely have to rescue you.