Day One for Washington County Damage Control

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Gaping holes, flooded roads, and relentless rain.

"The road conditions are not good right now,” said Lynne Abel, Washington County Public Safety Director.

For almost two weeks, it seemed the flash floods in Washington County would not let up. Monday, conditions eased up enough for road crews to get to work. A mess is an understatement.

"We've got culverts that have been exposed, and portions of road that have been washed away. The critical areas are the western portion of the county—the Vernon area and surrounding areas,” said Abel.

The first line of work included patching and emergency repairs. However, drainage will be a long process.

"They do have some areas that they're trying to get pumps in to pump that water off, but a lot of times right now, that ground is so saturated that there's no where to pump the water to,” Abel said.

Also, the county is seeing issues where people drive around the signs onto the closed roads. In some cases, people have stolen the barricades. Washington County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday those are both criminal offenses. Driving on closed roads are more than just a safety hazard—they make the already-damaged roads even worse.

Road crews predict that extensive damage will take months to permanently fix. For now, residents are urged to use caution and stay patient.

"We're trying to get to the most critical areas that we can respond to, that we can make a difference in quickly, but it's a very slow process,” said Abel.

Since schools begin in a little more than one month, road crews will also focus on repairing bus routes.

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