Record rainfall is making travel on some Lubbock County roads nearly impossible. So far, this is the 3rd wettest year on record for the South Plains and the 5th wettest May on record.
To give you some perspective, in Lubbock County, we've had 10 more inches of rain this May than last May and even more than that in some areas. There's another chance of rain Tuesday night and that may only add to a growing problem for Lubbock County residents and road crews.
The Director of Lubbock County Public Works, Nicholas Olenik says, they're "thankful for the rainfall, but it's taken a toll on the roads and guys continue to find things to do in the shop."
But on this sunny day crews are out cleaning up Mother Nature's recent showers.
George Garcia, a roads maintenance crew member says, until the roads dry out it's hard from them to do anything.
It's the dirt and caliche roads that are most affected, as they are easily saturated with water.
"Typically the traffic will run down the middle of the road when they're wet as for a safety factor. It tracks out the middle of the roads and makes it lower than sometimes the ditches and the sustained rain doesn't give us an opportunity to reestablish the roads," says Olenik.
The problem is when the culvert becomes blocked up brush and debris. In the case of County Road 2340, it caused water to flood nearly 2 feet high, making the road nearly impassable.
County Road 2340 resident Shawn Dominey says, "There were cars pulling up to it and backing back home because they couldn't leave and this is the only real road we have to come out."
It's the same story on a different county road. "It's getting worse every time it rains. It's getting nearly impossible. We had to haul dirt in last night to get in," says South Lubbock County resident Steve Adams.
But right now, no one seems to be pointing fingers, only looking up to see what Mother Nature will do next.
"It's not the county's fault, it's not the residences' fault, it's just weather related and you're not going to fix the weather," says Dominey.
The Director of Lubbock County Public Works says the bottom line is, it all comes down to more sunny days drying out the South Plains.
|Look Up the Latest Rain Totals for the South Plains|