Roads remain closed in Reno County, but flood repairs have started

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Roads all across Kansas are still closed because of damages and high waters, but Reno County officials say damage repair has already started.For the last couple of weeks, Sheila Richards, a Reno County resident, takes a different route to and from work every day, because she never knows if the road will be safe for travel."In the mornings I’m fine coming this way and then in the afternoon, it’s back to square one, and i don’t know if i should risk it," said Richards. 

Reno county is one of the many counties all across Kansas to have received an abundance of rain over the last couple of weeks and residents are still trying to navigate through the high waters and the washed-out roads. Richards thinks the roads should remain closed until they are fixed, "you don’t know what you’re going to be faced with, you know, hour to hour, but why even bother opening it for a few days, just keep it shut. That way everybody knows what’s expected." 

Don Brittain makes all of the decisions regarding road closures in Reno County, ensuring the safety of the residents and his last resort is to close a road completely but, he wants to urge drivers to pay close attention to those road signs. "Well i preach this not to go around barricades a lot, I know there’s sometimes that we close roads and there are some vehicles that could maybe make it through it, but maybe not. But the thing of it is, you don’t know if there’s anything underneath that road or not," said Brittain. 

Each township is responsible for repairing their own roads, but the government will step in and help pay for some of the expenses involved in rebuilding. “That will really be beneficial to the townships who struggle with the costs of things anyway," said Brittain. 

Richards warns residents of the dangers the closed roads bring, "don’t do it, turn around, don’t drown. It’s very important because a lot of these people, they have little kids with them. Come on if you want to risk your own safety, that’s your deal, but don’t risk the safety of your kids.” 

Brittain says his main concern for damaged roads is the overflow of the Arkansas river, but he believes this will no longer be an issue for the area.

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