Representatives of Texas County townships gathered Friday in Houston to learn about possible aid to repair roads and bridges hard hit by recent heavy rain.
By evening, more rain had fallen on the county. The Houston area reported more than an inch overnight, according to most rain gauges. Highway BB at Boiling Springs is closed again.
Commissioners Fred Stenger and John Casey, as well as Texas County Emergency Management Director Bennie Cook, met with several dozen township officials as the threat of rain continues.
“What didn’t get hit last time, certainly did this time,” said Jack Watson, president of a township advisory group. “And we have several townships that don’t usually get much damage that are just torn up.”
Watson is also Cass Township board president.
“Our guys are working hard, but it’s frustrating,” he said. “All week we’ve repaired and re-repaired, and a lot of times gone back the next day to the same place and repaired again.”
Township officials are asked to immediately let emergency responders or Cook know of roads and bridges that are impassable in case of emergencies occur. They also are asked to submit an outline of damage, the number of workers and how long labor may be needed as preparation is sought for a federal grant application. Some are still under water; the amount of damage is unknown.
Watson said the cost of repairing the damage caused by this latest round of flooding could top $3 million and go as high as $4 million.
“It’s real bad out there,” he said.
The county hopes to tap U.S. Labor Department aid that was used after 2011 floods. The Disaster Recovery Jobs Program pumped in an estimated $700,000 in wages and earnings and provided employment to about 300, said Presiding Commissioner Fred Stenger.
Casey and Stenger also participated in a conference call Friday morning with the State Emergency Management Agency. County officials were in Waynesville on Thursday to coordinate response efforts and visit with Gov. Jay Nixon.