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Deteriorating roads affecting drivers

From home health care workers to bus drivers, roads affected by rising floodwater and thawing are causing quite a mess in North Iowa and Southern Minnesota

Posted: Mar 14, 2019 10:14 PM

BRITT, Iowa - With water crossing roads in the area, authorities are starting to close some of them down, with authorities in a few counties advising drivers to especially stay off gravel roads.

Part of Highway 18 in Duncan was redirected through town for a time Thursday, as Iowa DOT crews were trying to break up an ice jam that caused water to go over a box culvert and over the road.

Linda Friedow lives between Britt and Kanawha, and she's noticing the effects the rain and snow melt are having on the roads.

"Lots of field water. Drainage ditches are near the top or overflowing."

With construction still not completed on a portion of County Road R35, the weather is not making travel any easier.

"Lots of potholes. My husband works in Fort Dodge, and he took the long detour around because he couldn't go that way."

For home health care workers, it's also been a challenge to get to clients. Chelcee Schleuger with the Hancock County Health System says there has been some adjustments to get where they need to be.

"We've been trying to keep our nurses on paved roads only. It does affect the travel and time it takes to get to clients' houses, but luckily, we've been lucky with good and nice clients that they understand and want to make sure we're safe as well."

Fortunately, they are in constant contact with Emergency Management, and are trying to work ahead.

"We make sure we plan ahead for everybody we need and make sure they get the help they need. If we see it being an issue, then we work with their provider and make sure it's taken care of."

Meanwhile, school districts like West Hancock, Belmond-Klemme, Charles City, Osage and Blooming Prairie are playing it safe by having bus drivers stick to hard-surface roads. In the Howard-Winneshiek district, classes were cancelled on Wednesday and Thursday because none of the buses could get to rural students.

Kim Redenius is a bus driver with West Hancock, and says the decision was made after seeing the roads deteriorating throughout the week.

"We have a 5 o'clock shuttle, and I think the gentleman that did that was at least 20 minutes late, that's why we went to hard surface only. You can only travel 20-25 mph in a bus. The other night my knuckles ached from hanging on to the steering wheel."

For families that live on further from paved roads, she points out that families are working together to get youngsters to class in time for the first bell.

"I have parents meet down the road where they live on gravel, but another family doesn't, so they meet at that place. Other families are driving them to other locations so we can stop there and pick them up on a hard surface."

Per a post on their Facebook page, West Hancock says that drivers will contact country route families for pick up and drop off places and approximate times.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 99134

Reported Deaths: 2089
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin27728936
Ramsey11209325
Dakota7724127
Anoka6343138
Stearns411925
Washington395055
Scott266333
Olmsted254428
Nobles197916
St. Louis174742
Blue Earth17437
Wright17137
Clay145741
Carver14517
Rice13518
Mower13486
Sherburne118514
Kandiyohi10573
Winona92318
Lyon7384
Waseca7228
Benton5683
Crow Wing56318
Steele5602
Nicollet55317
Freeborn5484
Watonwan5354
Chisago5221
Todd5142
McLeod5032
Le Sueur4804
Beltrami4735
Otter Tail4734
Martin46211
Goodhue3929
Douglas3622
Pine3610
Itasca35616
Polk3344
Isanti3241
Becker2862
Carlton2861
Morrison2802
Dodge2680
Pipestone23910
Chippewa2331
Cottonwood2290
Meeker2142
Wabasha2080
Sibley2033
Yellow Medicine2003
Brown1992
Cass1884
Rock1841
Redwood1805
Murray1762
Mille Lacs1723
Renville1638
Jackson1541
Unassigned15453
Faribault1490
Swift1451
Houston1350
Fillmore1340
Kanabec1318
Hubbard1261
Roseau1250
Koochiching1234
Pennington1201
Lincoln1180
Stevens1071
Pope1000
Aitkin881
Big Stone830
Wadena730
Lac qui Parle721
Wilkin713
Grant644
Lake610
Norman580
Marshall531
Mahnomen491
Red Lake451
Traverse360
Clearwater320
Lake of the Woods241
Kittson120
Cook70

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 88834

Reported Deaths: 1349
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk16204264
Woodbury568268
Johnson520327
Black Hawk455992
Linn4199115
Story350717
Dubuque347443
Scott312829
Dallas286038
Pottawattamie222539
Buena Vista202612
Marshall180235
Sioux17533
Wapello134557
Webster132714
Plymouth119121
Clinton115222
Muscatine113856
Crawford11176
Cerro Gordo107622
Warren9726
Jasper88334
Des Moines8249
Marion7799
Henry7774
Tama75732
Carroll7115
Lee6667
Wright6031
Dickinson5546
Boone5328
Bremer5137
Washington49311
Delaware4663
Louisa43915
Mahaska43520
Lyon3904
Jackson3683
Floyd3575
Franklin35318
Clay3504
Winneshiek3468
Benton3441
Hamilton3373
Poweshiek3278
Winnebago32514
Hardin3111
Buchanan2991
Jones2953
Kossuth2900
Butler2802
Emmet27910
Shelby2781
Sac2750
Chickasaw2741
Clayton2713
Guthrie27110
Clarke2703
Harrison2705
Cherokee2692
Allamakee2656
Cedar2561
Madison2452
Fayette2402
Grundy2294
Iowa2291
Palo Alto2140
Page2080
Hancock2032
Mills2031
Humboldt1963
Calhoun1953
Mitchell1950
Howard1937
Cass1812
Osceola1810
Pocahontas1682
Monona1671
Monroe16311
Lucas1596
Union1463
Appanoose1443
Taylor1431
Jefferson1411
Ida1352
Davis1304
Fremont1250
Van Buren1221
Keokuk1201
Worth1100
Greene1090
Montgomery1005
Audubon911
Wayne893
Adair761
Decatur670
Ringgold532
Adams380
Unassigned40
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