Emergency road repairs could wash away with more heavy rains in Okmulgee County

OKMULGEE COUNTY, Okla. — Okmulgee County Emergency Management is warning area residents that emergency repairs made to some roads after recent flooding could easily wash away if rain turns heavy again this week.

Emergency Manager Tim Craighton told FOX23 permanent repairs needed after intense flooding earlier this month in various parts of the county have not started yet, and residents needs to know that emergency repairs made to things like culverts and roads that washed out could easily wash away again.

“Those emergency repairs are just so people could have passable roads again,” Craighton said. “If we get enough rain over us at one time again, those repairs could easily wash away.”

Drivers are asked not to assume that emergency repairs will remain in place, especially if the road is underwater again. Guessing if the road is still passable, especially if it was only passable because of emergency repairs, is the best way to get into trouble, he said.

“Turn around don’t drown is also like saying in this case, turn around and save your car,” Craighton said.

Permanent repairs that provide better long-term stability could take months if not years in some cases to be completed, he said. Especially when it comes to bridges going over creeks like the one that washed out on Old Morris Highway.

Craighton said there is some concern that culverts in some areas were weakened by the rains earlier this month, and they could give way at any time. However, it’s hard to tell in many cases which are ready to give out.

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