200214 Broadway1

Byron McDougal and James Watkins fill a pothole on Broadway Avenue in Florence. [CAROLINE OGLESBY/ TIMESDAILY]

While the water might finally be receding, the impact of recent flooding on the area's streets and roads will linger for some time.

Colbert County Engineer Jeremy Robison and Lauderdale County Engineer Eric Hill said they're seeing damage on various county roads, and Florence Public Works Director David Koonce said he's also seeing issues on city streets due to days of heavy rainfall and runoff.

"This amount of water is not good for the pavement," Koonce said. 

Koonce said Street Department crews have been out every day repairing potholes that were caused by the recent heavy rains. Below freezing temperatures Thursday and Friday nights could aggravate an already bad situation, he said.

"I think we will have a lot of trouble with pavement that's already very wet. This freezing is going to create another round of potholes, and we can't keep up with the ones we already have," Koonce said.

Hill said flooding has also exposed issues that went unnoticed before the flooding occurred.

One example was an undersized drainage pipe that couldn't handle the volume of water, which led to water coming over the road.

"A crew had been out to remove debris from the road and noticed a dip in the white line," he said. "We closed the road immediately."

In another instance, floodwaters washed out the soil around a drainage pipe underneath the asphalt.

Heavy rainfall and the infiltration of water through cracks in the pavement has also caused the formation of new potholes, Hill said.

"We've definitely had some washed out shoulders," Robison said. "When the water goes down, we could fine we have washed-out pipes. We can't assess a lot of the damage until the water goes down."

Colbert County Commissioner Charles Hovater said three or four gravel roads in the west end of the county will have to be graded due to gravel washing away.


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