Recent rainfall breaking 100 year-old record, causing long detours

Green County residents had 15 inches of water in their basements
Recent rainfall breaking 100 year-old record, causing long detours

Wednesday’s rainfall is breaking records set more than 100 years ago.

In Green County, fields are flooded, a main thoroughfare could be closed for months and homeowners, at one point, had 15 inches of water in their basements.

Off Carla Drive, Bruce Woods pointed to his plants and said, “The water was that high on the raspberries.”

Woods said it was coming in so fast, “it filled up the whole subdivision, backing up into people’s yards.”

The rain came down the hardest around 6 a.m. and by 9 a.m. it had receded. But it left more than a foot of water in Woods’ basement. Instead of showing off the room he took years to build, Woods is taking photos to show busy insurance adjustors who can’t come for a couple more days.

“We need a way to get it out of here faster,” said Woods, who blames the culvert closest to his house that he says is too small.

Wednesday, the county fixed a culvert further away, but it’s up to the nearby Town of Exeter to tackle the culvert in question. Woods and his neighbors plan to bring up the issue at its next board meeting, July 8.

Recent rainfall breaking 100 year-old record

“We haven’t had this problem for a couple, three years,” said Green County’s Highway Patrol Superintendent Dick Marty. “There was water in at least a dozen places between here and Highway E, which is 3 miles down the road.”

The rain especially made a mess of the bridge over Story River on Highway 92. It washed out its abutments and the State’s Department of Transportation is investigating. Depending on the extent of damage, it could take days or months to fix the bridge. Meanwhile, drivers will have a 20-mile detour.

Highway X, where the Sugar River crosses, is also closed, along with a 3-mile stretch of Highway MM from Highway 11 to the Lafayette County line. It could be until early next week before the water recedes and they open to traffic.

But a days-long deluge, that despite an inconvenient conclusion, can only mean drier days are ahead.

“It’s sad, but life goes on,” said Woods. “The sun came out (Wednesday) afternoon, so it’s a brighter day.”