MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - In Montgomery County, the heavy rain has made a mess of the roads. Since Thursday night crews have worked tirelessly to assess road conditions and close the ones that are impassable.
Road crews put out five more road closed signs Thursday night, all on roads that are completely washed out. Firetower, Ferguson, J.L. Coleman, Austin Longpond, Salem and Mark Burns roads are all closed after heavy rainfall hit the area. Both J.L. Coleman and Mark Burns road were back open as of Saturday.
Four of the roads have massive holes taking over the majority of the road. Road Superintendent Milton Fountain says this happened because of the pipe rusting underneath. While crews are trying to keep people safe with warning signs, it’s become apparent that people are actually stealing the signs causing even more danger to the community. The sheriff is reminding folks that stealing these signs is a crime and can send you to jail.
“We usually don’t keep but 12 on hand, so we can close six roads. We have a few extra, but every one that gets stolen is one less that we can put out to warn the public," said Fountain.
Before daylight Friday, road crews were already out making fixes to these roads. They say they expect to make more over the next few days.
Firefighter and Deputy EMA Director, Jimmy Sharpe says these road closures will slow them down on calls. J.L. Coleman road is the longest dirt road in the county at 7.8 miles. It is also used as a short cut, but not for the time being.
“Now it’s going to be a 10 to 15 minute delay in a call response having to go out of our county, into another county to go around," said Sharpe.
But the massive holes in the roads, aren’t the only reason they’re concerned. Sharpe says right now many roads aren’t capable of supporting the weight of the engines.
“The average engine down here is holding 1,000 gallons of water. A gallon of water is 8.34 pounds. That’s roughly 8,400 pounds added to your truck.”
Sheriff Doug Maybin says he’s gotten calls about people joyriding through these roads and says this is a bad idea.
“They may become stuck, stranded or injured. They could fall into a rut or a deep hole and we can’t get help back there in a timely manner.”
.The Sheriff’s Office is prepared and has the resources to get people help even under these circumstances.
“We do have some old military hummers that we keep in storage for things such as floods and bad dirt roads.”
Law enforcement says they’ve been communicating with road crews over the last few days just to make sure they know of any alternate routes they might have to take.