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County slowly returning to normal after major flooding

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    This is all that remains of Central Road after the drainage ditch flooded, causing the road to collapse after torrential rains soaked the area recently. Repairs will be delayed as public works waits for the arrival of a new pipe. STEPHANIE MCMULLEN/Putnam
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    This heavy 14 gauge metal pipe was ripped from it’s foundation when the drainage ditch over Central Road flooded, causing the road to collapse. This pipe was retrieved by county public works nearly a quarter of a mile downstream. STEPHANIE MCMULLEN/Putn

Torrential heavy rains in Putnam County two weeks ago caused widespread flooding across the area with some locations known for previous flooding problems hit the hardest, said County Assistant Public Works Director Anthony Frazier.

“I wouldn’t say we were caught off-guard. We knew it was coming; it was just a matter of how much and how fast,” he said. “I don’t see an agency of any size that would be prepared for the volume of rain that we received in that corridor in that short of a time frame.”

The corridor in question included Central Road, Poplar Road, Stansfordville Road and Glenwood Springs Terrace. Frazier estimated between nine and 10 inches of rain fell very quickly, causing flash flooding.

“The problem was compounded by the fact that it had been raining the whole week prior,” Frazier explained. “We’ve had issues in the past in these areas and I don’t honestly think I know what kind of storm water drainage system that could be installed that would be able to handle just the sheer amount of water that came down through there.

“It was ridiculous; it was just massive. These are problem areas and we just do the best we can to mitigate the issues we have.”

Frazier said Glenwood Springs Terrace has 10 homes in an unfinished subdivision but everyone was okay and no one had to be rescued when the only way in and out was flooded.

“When you get that much rain in a short period of time, you are going to have problems,” he said.

Central Road was not so lucky as the torrent stream under the road flooded and as heavy debris zoomed down the drainage ditch, the power of the water combined with heavy tree debris ripped a 14 gauge metal pipe from its foundation, carrying it downstream about a quarter of a mile, Frazier estimated.

As a result, the road collapsed and repairs have not been completed as of yet. Because the original pipe was destroyed, Public Works had to order a replacement pipe and the shortage of metal has created a backlog and the delivery date of the new pipe is estimated to be about three weeks although that comes without any certainty as numerous other areas are dealing with some of the same problems.