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Flood Waters Taking a Toll on Ozarks Roads

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Some of the water has receded on our roadways, but unfortunately more rain is on the way.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Some of the water has receded on our roadways, but unfortunately more rain is on the way.

The National Weather Service says the same hard-hit area though will start seeing another round of showers and thunderstorms starting early Saturday morning. Two to three inches are expected for central and southern Missouri during that timeframe.

We checked into how the rain is impacting our roadways and what's being done to protect us and the roads when we experience flooding.
MoDOT already has a busy job providing a safe and efficient transportation system, and when Mother Nature takes its toll, it puts them behind schedule.
"I noticed that they put caution tape up there at the guardrail, there's a hole there and it's gradually getting bigger," says Russell Hargis, an Ozarks resident.
Hargis says a blocked off area on Highway 160 west of I-44 going toward Willard could be dangerous to drivers.
"I just noticed last week since we had all the rain that the concrete is now dipping in that area."
The flooding throughout Missouri this week was immense. Mr. Hargis refers to it as a sinkhole by the way it's growing.
"Oh there are sinkholes all around that area."
MODOT says heavy 8 or 9 inch rains can make sinkholes bigger.
"Those sinkholes are the natural drainage areas," says Andrew Mueller, the assistant district engineer for MoDOT.
"I just felt like it would be a hazard to someone if it's not taken care of pretty soon because it is getting bigger," adds Hargis.
Hargis says he called MODOT multiple times because of his concerns.
"The road or bridge would be closed if we found out it was unsafe and we investigate every call that comes in," says Mueller.
Sinkholes are not uncommon in the Ozarks.
"They're something that we try to avoid when we build roads," he adds, "but you can't avoid them in southwest, Missouri."
Besides the sinkholes, the amount of rainfall we've received over the last few days has made MoDOT's job even harder.
"When it gets over the top of some of our roads, we have to close them," says Mueller, "the biggest impact, though, it has on MoDOT's operations is it puts us behind schedule."
MoDOT does its best to fix problem areas, but sometimes, it's out of their control.
"I don't know if there's enough money in the world to elevate roadways and bridges enough to be able to stay dry during a 9 inch rain when it's in a low area," says Mueller.
Mueller also says it's too early to know until all of the waters recede what type of damage, if any, that we have to our area roads and bridges from this weeks flooding.
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