Area counties, townships add up damage to roads

Residents are crossing their collective fingers for the next 48 hours.

Traill County Road 16 is closed after this washout.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News

BUXTON, N.D. — With more rain predicted this weekend, the hundreds of roads that are washed out or impassable from overland flooding may only get worse. On Friday, April 29, an effort was underway near Buxton to get ahead of the water.

The Traill County Highway Department crews even worked in the heavy rains,trying to repair washouts and closed roads around their county.

WDAY News caught up with the crew in the northeast part of Traill County, not far from the Red River, where recent rains and swollen creeks sparked a deluge of water, taking out culverts and roads.

"We had about three inches of rain here in this area, and then a few miles west it was four to five (inches) and the culverts could not take it," said Traill County Highway Department operator Corey Ackerman. "The ground was still frozen, so it didn't soak any (water) in and every hole in the culvert that there was that you don't know is there? You find them now, because it washes out the roads."

A lot of the counties and townships realize some of the fixes are Band-Aids, especially when we have the weekend forecast we have.


The issue isn't contained to just a handful of roads. Ackerman and his crews have a summer-long list of roads to fix.

"I'm guessing there's at least 50 roads and driveways and approaches and everything we'll have to fix," Ackerman said.

In Traill County, crews maintain 432 miles of roads and 140 bridges. WDAY News drove in heavy rain to the other side of Traill County, north of Portland, North Dakota, where another county road was closed, with the bottom washed out. Chunks of tar, and loads of gravel were blown out.

The hope this weekend is that heavy rains spare an already soaked, sopping spring landscape from more damage. These highway crews have enough to do for months to come.

"What do you do? You got to to fix it," Ackernman said.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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