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Geneva County assesses road damage after storms

A long road ahead for Geneva County in the aftermath of heavy rains.
Several roads in Geneva County are impassable after heavy rains soaked the area over the last several weeks.
Several roads in Geneva County are impassable after heavy rains soaked the area over the last several weeks.
Road workers in Geneva County recommend heeding all barricades, even if the dirt roads seem dry, as potholes and drop-offs could be up the road and out of plain sight.
Road workers in Geneva County recommend heeding all barricades, even if the dirt roads seem dry, as potholes and drop-offs could be up the road and out of plain sight.
Fifteen road closures early this morning quickly increased to 24 by the afternoon, but the problems started long before this week.

"The thing about it is, the last three to four weeks, we’ve had over 15 inches of rain, we've actually had two events," said Geneva County Commission Chairman Fred Hamic.

The first event was three weeks ago, and in fact, seven roads were still closed after those storms swept through the county.  

"We have 600 miles of dirt roads in Geneva County, and anytime we have 4-6 inches of rain, we’re going to have road problems," Hamic said.

The estimated damage from those storms: three hundred thousand to half a million dollars worth. 
And after the last couple of days, those numbers will add up to a much higher amount.

"I imagine there will be a declaration of disaster by FEMA.  If it is, we can get some money for that, but we’re in a world of hurt if we can’t get any help, because we don’t have a half million dollars to fix roads with.” said Hamic.

Crews are assessing the damage and putting up barricades. 

"Mostly we're just making our observations, of what we have to do, what has to be done and prioritize them.  We send all that information to the engineer,” said Stanley Tate, a road crew member with the Geneva County Road & Bridge Department.

But a shortage of crew members and not enough barricades are more obstacles the county faces.  In the meantime, the road crew shared a message for people in the area.

"Take your time, be careful and don't go around the barricades.  If there’s a barricade up, there’s a problem somewhere down there.  And if there’s any way you can avoid having to go through there, do that,” said Tate.

County officials say it will be another few weeks before they know the full extent of the damage.
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