Flood Waters Damage Danville Road, Undermines Forrest Chapel Road, Both Closed Indefinitely


Hole left in Danville Road by Thursday’s flash flooding. (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

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DANVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Morgan County crews tell us the flood waters receeded about as fast as they came up Thursday. But the real lingering problem is going to be the roads. Two in particular… Danville Road and Forrest Chapel Road. Both will be closed until county workers can repair the damage.

Danville Road is closed because of a giant wash-out just north of where it intersects with Highway 36. Forrest Chapel Road has a tunnel under it now that you could literally walk through without having to bend over.

We observed workers putting even more signage up on Danville Road at Highway 36. They say the area is particularily dangerous, especially with more rain in the forecast through the weekend. The concern is that more of the roadway will wash away. (randy vest @ ) randy vest:

“The actual road that we’re standing on now, the surface, we don’t know if that’s going to continue to hold up or if it’s going to collapse,” Morgan County District Two Commissioner Randy Vest explained to WHNT News 19. He added, “So, for the general public’s safety, we just ask that they avoid this section of Danville Road.”

The problem on Danville Road is about a quarter-mile north of Danville Middle School. County engineers say they’re not yet certain if they’re dealing with a sink hole or if this is simply a wash-out on the roadway. But the hole is almost big enough to hide an automobile in. A portion of a ribbed structure is visible, that’s part of an 8-foot tall pipeline running under the roadway that was designed to move water under the road. There was considerably more water than the pipe could handle yesterday. A 12-inch water main has also been exposed and just on the other side of that is a fiber optic cable that no one is quite certain of yet.

Vest says his greatest fear is to drive down here and find tail lights sticking out of the hole. So for now, the road is closed.

Looking west under Forest Chapel Road through the "tunnel" carved under the roadway by Thursday's flash flood. (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)
Looking west under Forest Chapel Road through the “tunnel” carved under the roadway by Thursday’s flash flood. (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

Meanwhile just a few miles away, the flood waters dug a new tunnel under Forrest Chapel Road. We lowered a camera into the hole and amazingly it appears as though the water cut a tunnel under the roadway tall enough that you could literally walk from one side of the road to the other without bending over. Vest says it’s going to take weeks to get this repaired and the roadway opened again. For now, county dump trucks are parked across the roadway to prevent unsuspecting motorists from driving over the weakened surface and further damaging the road and endangering themselves.

Vest says those repairs will start as soon as the water drains off and the weather allows for crews to begin their work.

–Al Whitaker

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