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Officials: storm damage minimal

After flash flood waters covered much of the downtown area and in neighborhoods across Russellville on Tuesday, officials have estimated that damages to city property were more minimal than they expected.

Russellville Mayor David Grissom said after the flood waters receded and he and other city department heads were able to assess the damage, the biggest issue they found was the bridge damage on south Green Avenue behind the A.W. Todd Centre.

“We found there was minor to moderate washout around the footings, so we’ll have to put in rip rap to get them stabilized,” Grissom said.

“The fast-running water also washed the asphalt right off the roadway of the bridge and created a pretty big mess.

“Street department crews got to work at 6 a.m. Wednesday and were able to get the bridge passable and opened back up.”

Grissom said they were currently looking at options for getting the asphalt on the 17-ft. section replaced.

“This was really our only major area of concern,” Grissom said.

“The way the water seemed to just cover all the roadways in that short amount of time, we were afraid the damages might be greater than they were, so we are thankful it ended up being minimal.”

The flash flooding occurred about 10 a.m. Tuesday after a storm system dumped three inches of rain on the area in less than 30 minutes, officials said.

Franklin County Emergency Management Agency Director Roy Gober said the worst part of the flash flooding in the county was in Russellville, especially in the downtown area and the southbound lane of U.S. 43 between the Frosty Inn and Southside Baptist Church.

Russellville Street Department Superintendent Roy Price said street department crews immediately began working on the flooding issues, which stemmed from overflowing streams, creeks, culverts and drainage ditches.

“This could have been a much worse situation, but all the departments worked together as a team to make sure everyone stayed safe and that any issues were taken care of,” Grissom said.

“I appreciate all the hard work from the street, fire and police departments in the minutes and hours following the storm. We had to react quick, but thankfully there were no injuries and not a lot of damage.”