|Pictured above is one of the areas of Ralls County Route V that flooded in the summer of 2008.
Twain once said, “I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside 24 hours.” In the summer of 2008, it seemed the only change in weather that was taking place in northeast Missouri was how hard it rained each day. Tanya Carlisle, senior administrative technician at the district office, Ron Calvin, maintenance superintendent, and Darin Epperson, at Bowling Green maintenance and their families felt the wrath of Mother Nature that summer, because the road they used to travel was closed due to flooding.
Northeast Missouri received record precipitation that summer, and in late July, the Corp of Engineers had to release the water below Clarence Cannon Dam causing flooding of farmland, homes and roads near New London. In addition, the release of water caused flooding across some of MoDOT’s secondary roads along Salt River resulting in road closures. One route that was affected was Ralls County Route V east of New London.
“I never realized how much I traveled and depended on Route V until it closed,” Tanya said. “Living east of New London, what normally took six minutes to get to New London on a nice paved road with a newly constructed bridge, now took me about 30 minutes,” she added.
Tanya worked in Hannibal, so using alternate routes to get to work was not a problem, but when it came to her children’s school activities, it became cumbersome and costly. With an already busy schedule, a typical day for Tanya would now involve traveling a total of approximately 125 miles.
Ronnie Calvin also lives off of Route V and found times more difficult. At the time of the flooding, Ronnie was the supervisor at the Bowling Green maintenance facility.
“I would have to travel Ralls County Route T north to Hannibal and then go back south on U.S. 61 to Bowling Green,” said Ronnie. Ronnie’s family also had crops that were under water and livestock on a farm located across the river. “Due to the longer commute and the need to care for the livestock, I would have to leave two hours earlier each day for work, and then get home two hours later,” he added.
Darin Epperson also found himself spending a lot more time on the road. “At the time, I worked at the Frankford shed, and it was seven miles for me to get to work,” said Darin. “Once the flooding hit, I was then traveling 35 to 40 miles one way,” he added.
Not only did Darin have a longer commute, but he also spent a great deal of time working the flood when the roads were closed.
Within a few weeks the water receded, and their lives and the lives of others would return to normal. Although Mother Nature had played havoc on their lives, we were very thankful that our MoDOT family had been kept safe.