NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - In the wake of the heavy rainfall Tropical Depression Bill dropped on East Texas, the estimated cost for the extensive damage the Nacogdoches County Road Department is dealing with after yesterday's floods is in the millions.
It's too early to provide an exact amount, but county officials know one thing. It's way more money than county leaders initially budgeted for road repair in Nacogdoches County.
As many as 50 Nacogdoches County roads were closed Thursday due to flood damages. There were so many that the county ran out of emergency signs.
As of Friday afternoon, five remain on the list, thanks to the hard work of Nacogdoches County road crews. In most cases temporary repairs were made. These damages take time to fix.
Many times on these road projects, the crew really doesn't know what they'll find once they start digging. In one particular case they found a gas line, a telephone line, and a water line. It requires a pretty delicate procedure when operating a backhoe.
Other sites are just as complicated.
"Alright that's 55 foot," said Doyle Williams, Nacogdoches County's road administrator.
Williams was measuring where a bulkhead once stood. It was built to keep the roadway from eroding, but a swollen White Oak Creek took heavy piping and timbers down.
"Overnight, it just fell into the creek, so we are still finding some daily in some places, but we don't know, maybe a culvert is undermined and it just falls in overnight," Williams said.
It could cost into the thousands to repair and there are several just like it to rebuild.
Here a tank car, used at bridge crossings, just washed away. Elsewhere, roadways are crumbled.
To complicate matters, there's a backorder on large culverts and piping due to the state's widespread flooding.
On paper the list is long. Assistants keep track of the needs often called in by angry, rude callers. The women take it in stride. On another sheet are the estimated repair costs, not from Thursday's flood, but from the May 4th damages.
"We're having to re-access some of these that we were already trying to do," Williams said. "Going back to re-access to see if they need more gravel, more clay, more culverts washed out and found."
The funds aren't in the budget and there's no certainty of receiving federal aid. It's a wait and see game that may not end anytime soon. Meanwhile, Patience and smart driving are requested.
There's no telling what will be found around the blind curve or over the next hill.
Nacogdoches County officials are hoping to meet with FEMA representatives in the coming weeks.