July Floods Add to Issues on Denton County Roads

Denton County leaders say dozens of roads in their jurisdiction need repairs after back-to-back heavy rainstorms.

On July 17 and July 31, a deluge hit the northern portion of the county hard; specifically in the Sanger and Pilot Point areas.

"Anytime you have nine inches of rain in an hour and 45 minutes, that's a difficult weather event to deal with,” said County Commissioner Hugh Coleman.

Each of those storms brought between 15 to 30 road closures throughout the county, with about a dozen of those roads shutting down in both storms due to flash flooding.

Coleman and Precinct One road crews have been assessing the damage since that time and have found many in need of repair. Things from potholes to damage around culverts and damage along the side of the road, which Coleman explained can actually cut into the sidewall of tires.

He adds that some of the latest damage even came on roads that were repaired within the last several months and will now have to go back on the list.

"Like farming, a lot of our work depends on the weather and what the weather has done. The weather can either be very helpful to us when it's nice and dry, or when it rains the weather causes problems for us,” he said.

Joe Altebaumer, who lives along St. James Road just outside of Pilot Point, said the road has been overrun by potholes for some time and has become severely worse since the storms.

"They keep beating out bigger every day; every rain," said Altebaumer.

Coleman pointed out St. James as one of several that tends to flood in storms. In this latest round, the county even shut down many of those roads before anything happened in anticipation of flash flooding.

"It's very difficult to do extensive draining planning when you're out in the unincorporated area,” said Coleman.

The county has begun replacing several of those spots with bridges where they can in order to avoid the flooding problem altogether," Coleman said.

As for the current damage on roads, Coleman said the county has money budgeted to repair the damage and will get to it as soon as they can.

Many of the flooded spots are fairly low traffic areas. Coleman asks residents bring problems to his attention so the county can take care of them.

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