MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Montgomery County has been hit hard for several weeks with heavy rainfall and the rivers around it rising rapidly.
Earlier Thursday the superintendent announced that school would be closed until Monday for the safety of the students and staff who travel on roads deemed impassable and washed out.
In the county there are 230 miles of dirt roads. This road makes up about 3 miles of that. It’s one of many roads that’s on high watch. This is because road crews are worried it might get completely washed out because of the creek that runs under it.
According to the Montgomery County Road Superintendent, Milton Fountain, the roads out here have been in these conditions for the last two weeks, seven days a week. Several roads, both paved and unpaved, have warning signs up that are allowing only residents to travel on. One rode, Firetower Road, has been so heavily saturated that it now has a massive sink hole.
One resident says people will take joy rides through these areas and because of that, it only makes conditions worse.
“If you don’t live in the dirt road and you don’t have to be here, stay off them," said Dan Curl. "Every time you drive through that water you change it’s course. You cause more washing, more erosion and more problems. If you don’t have to go through it, don’t. You’re messing up our roads for your entertainment and it’s not cool.”
“Our direct roads, we’re trying to make them accessible for school buses and residents and at the same time we’re fighting an endless battle as long as the rain keeps coming," said Fountain.
The county is monitoring 140 paved road and 230 dirt roads with only 10 crew members.
So far, only Firetower Road is closed because of a sink hole. Other roads are being monitored and could be closed if necessary.
“If it has a foot wash across it, or more, I will close it. If I can still go across it, we’ll put up warning signs and let the public make their own decisions.”
One resident says driving on these wet dirt roads can be as dangerous as driving on ice. He encourages people to avoid taking the risk if they can.
“If you don’t live on the dirt roads and you don’t have to be here, stay off them. Every time you drive through that water you change its course. You cause more washing, more erosion and more problems," said Curl.
Farmers in the area say they’re playing the waiting game.
“It’s causing a lot of problems getting into the fields," said farmer Howard Morris. "Normally this time of year we’re getting soil samples, putting out lime and getting everything ready. All of that has been put on hold.”
Howard Morris says this rain isn’t affecting planting right now, but once spring starts it will.
“It’s time to begin planting corn and that’s the prime, optimum time to plant corn and that’s next week.”
Fountain says they’ll continue putting up signs and warning people of bad road conditions. The Montgomery County Schools Superintendent also says school will be closed until Monday for the safety of the students and staff.