Flood damaged roads a fiscal concern for BC Commission

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Due to the heavy rains and flooding that took place between April 19 and June 6, many roads in rural portions of Barry County are now severely damaged or impassable. That discussion took place at the regular meetijng of the Barry County Commission on June 23.

According to David Compton, director of the Barry County Office of Emergency Management, over 100 miles of roadways in Barry County are affected.

"There is a lot of damage down around the Seligman and Shell Knob areas," Compton said. "Entire roads are gone. Over by Butler Hollow, the road drops off about 20 feet into a ditch. Mineral Springs is also really bad. The damage to the county road districts is pretty incredible."

Compton said the county is facing an upward of a half million dollars in repairs, of which 35 percent would be matching funds.

"The budget is tight," Compton said. "There are going to be hardships."

One good thing, Compton noted, was that no one was blocked from getting to work or taking care of personal business due to the poor road conditions.

"People may have to take a longer, alternate route, but that option is available," he said. "It might be inconvenient, but it's possible. This is the worst damage I have seen to the roads in a long time."

Although Barry County has been one of several Missouri counties that received a Presidential Disaster Declaration, funding those repairs will be the challenge.

"We're facing over $100,000 in matching funds," Compton said. "Presently, with the budget very tight, none of the road districts are going to have the money [to make these repairs].

"We were very fortunate, however, that while the roads took the bulk of the damage, we suffered no loss and no homes were washed away."

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