Cotton County suffers $1M in flood damage - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Cotton County suffers $1M in flood damage

COTTON COUNTY, Okla._Flooding in Cotton County has caused roughly $1 million in damage to roads and bridges since May 3.

The county has received 16 inches of rainfall since then. Beaver Creek and East Cache Creek have each risen past their banks three times. County commissioners say they are bracing for even more in the next 24 hours.

The water in Beaver Creek near Highway 65 has already risen 10 feet in a few hours Wednesday. That water is expected to keep rising. As a result, they closed the bridge in that area to traffic Tuesday night.

The creek was starting to create its own path on either side of the bridge, cutting through the soil. County workers have been extending their hours into the late evenings for the last three weeks.

"Up here, the last few weeks, we have really had it rough in this area. It has been really raining," said Cotton County Commissioner Ed Eschiti.

Eschiti says they don't even have enough signs to block off the 12 miles of roads and low-water crossing that are closed.

"We put up some last night after 10 o'clock. And you know, I just tell people and the sheriff's department. I hope people will see water and back up and go around it," said Eschiti.

He says they started removing debris from Beaver Creek with a back hoe Tuesday afternoon.

"The water lifts the debris up and he has been able to reach it and just take it put it over and it helps the water to flow better so it won't backup," said Eschiti.

The hope is to double or triple that water flow under the bridge.

Across the county, there are about 930 miles of gravel roads that the three commissioners oversee. The gravel makes them more susceptible to washing out. Workers have to wait for the water to recede in order to make repairs to two of the low-water crossing that have washed out on those roads.

"At least where the water isn't running, so we can get them dug out and get them packed back in and get them in place," said Eschiti.

The county initially filed for a disaster declaration on May 5 when the estimate was only $175,000. Commissioners are saying they need to revise that request. They are waiting for state and federal funds to pay for much needed repairs.

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