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Ingham County Road Department trying to prevent road flooding

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Posted at 5:44 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 17:44:31-04

AURELIUS TWP., Mich — Whenever we get rain like we've had the last couple of days, you can pretty much guarantee certain roads are going to flood.

The man in charge of Ingham County’s roads says there are some things they can do to make those roads less likely to flood.

But ultimately they can't stop Mother Nature...

"Although it's a fairly well-drained county, there are some fairly low-lying areas in the county that are prone to flooding, and we do keep an eye on those areas," said Ingham County Road Commissioner Bill Conklin.

Aurelius Township has been a hot spot for flooding this year, with many streets flooded, and some closed.

Farmlands and plains are taking the brunt of excess rain, with water having nowhere else to go.

"With the amount of rain we've had in the last month or so, there's a lot of water in the ground, so the ability of the ground to absorb water in rural areas is becoming limited, and each successive rain is building up more water on the ground," said Conklin.

He says that the Ingham County Road Department hasn't exactly fallen behind, but they are busier than normal trying to keep the flooding to a minimum.

"Our crews do, on these rainy days, check the ground for debris that maybe washed into the culverts and removing that to try to get the water to drain away."

But when the rain stops, and they have a few dry days to get ahead of that next downpour, the road department only has a handful of options to curb the flooding.

"In our rural areas, there are some roads that have flooded in the past that we've done what we call lifts on, to raise the road surface and put larger culverts underneath," said Conklin.

Conklin says that they've raised roads in most of those rural areas.

"In others, due to the development in the area, it's not really possible to raise the roads."

If the roads can't be lifted, Conklin says the best way to let the flooding subside is to let Mother Nature take its course.

"There’s not a lot you can do when you're having this heavy rain of a rain and having this much rain soaking the ground."

Make sure you don't try to drive through flooding even if it seems like the water isn't that deep.

You don't know if there's a huge pothole under there, and it only takes a few inches of water to take car off the road.

You'll need to be patient waiting for the water to drain; it can take a few days in some spots.

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