Boone County's 'soggiest summer' leads to road closures

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COLUMBIA - Boone County Public Works closed multiple roads due to flooding on Wednesday including Wren School Road at Fox Hollow Branch outside Ashland and Wilcox Road at Route E in Columbia. 

Bryan Boyce, a road superintendent with Boone County Public Works, said his department has been particularly busy this summer dealing with the effects of all the rain. 

"This has been the soggiest summer in the 17 years I've been working with public works," Boyce said. 

Boyce said Boone County Public Works spent $33,865.86 on rain and flood repair from April 1 to July 6. About half of that paid for labor while the other half paid for materials and maintenance. 

Boone County Public Works logged 620 hours of labor dedicated to flood and rain emergency maintenance during the same time period, Boyce said. 

Employees with public works typically work from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but because of all the rain Boyce said the department has had to make multiple midnight calls to remove brush from roads. 

"We've been extremely, extremely busy," Boyce said. "The few times it hasn't been raining we've been trying to squeeze in mowing."

Boyce said the first priority for Boone County Public Works is dealing with anything that hinders emergency vehicles from being able to cross a road. 

"Not a lot can be done about water on roadways besides closing them and waiting for it to go down, but we do make sure there's nothing else that's blocking the roads like trees and brush," Boyce said. 

He said there are "problem areas" that always flood during heavy rain, including Wren School Road at Fox Hollow Branch in Three Springs and Wilcox Road near Rocky Fork Creek in Columbia. 





"At any given time, 20 or 30 roads can be closed due to flooding in Boone County," Boyce said. "We're all doing our best though to keep the roads as safe as possible." 

Boone County Emergency Management updates which roads are closed due to flooding and other reasons here.