Recent Floods Create Problems for County Road Department

July 17, 2013
Dwayne Page
Kenny Edge Stands where Bridge Abutments washed away on Dry Branch
Kenny Edge Stands at site of landslide on Oakley Hollow Road
Kenny Edge Stands on new wing wall being constructed at bridge on Oakley Hollow

The DeKalb County Road Department is working to repair several county roads which have been damaged or even washed away in places by recent flooding alongside creeks and streams.

Much of the damage occurred on Dry Branch and Oakley Hollow Road. "On Dry Branch, it washed the abutments off each end of the bridge," said Road Supervisor Kenny Edge. "It washed the road down completely. It washed the oil and chip off of it down to the base stone (at the bridge)," he said.

A landslide caused a small portion of Oakley Hollow Road to collapse. Repairs have been made to the road since, but Edge said problems persist there. "Oakley Hollow had a landslide. Part of the road slid off toward Smith Fork Creek, " said Edge. "We hauled two or three hundred tons of rock in there and we've had to do that over and over. It just keeps going down. It's already dropped twelve inches again," he said.

Flood waters also washed away the wing wall of a small bridge over Oakley Hollow Road and areas of Dry Creek were affected. " On Dry Creek, right now we've got everything passable. It's not the best in the world but problems occur when you get in the end of these hollows where the creeks and the roads run side by side with a hillside on each side and nowhere for the flood waters to go but down the road. It just washes all the surface away. But you have got to go in there and resurface it. When you've got thirteen employees working over a six hundred mile area it's hard to manage," said Edge.

With a small road crew to do repairs, Road Supervisor Edge is asking the public for patience as the work continues to fix problems from the floods. "The problems with this flood damage is it takes a while to get to each location and get it corrected. Like down on the Oakley Road where the wing wall fell off a bridge, we had to get somebody to come in there with a track hoe to remove everything and then get the forms set up and pour the concrete. By the time you go in there and set up and do all that, it takes so many hours to do it," he said.

While flooding is not uncommon in DeKalb County, Edge said it usually doesn't occur so much during the summer months and making these flood repairs is slowing his regular maintenance work. "We deal with it occasionally throughout the year but most of the time in the summer is when you get to do the oiling and chipping and road maintenance and mowing. But when you have these continual rains day after day it makes it hard. Like in July, you fix something one day and it's washed away the next. Its time consuming and you have to neglect your normal duties throughout the county to correct all these dangerous situations," said Edge.

"We're slowly recuperating from all of this. We'll finally recover. Everybody just bare with us," he said.

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