Bill for storm estimated at $1 million

The storm that hit late Sunday and early Monday wrecked several roads and made a mess of others.

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WALLA WALLA -- County officials said today a fast-moving storm that ripped through Walla Walla County late Sunday and early Monday left behind a hefty repair bill.

County Public Works Director Randy Glaeser gave a "rough estimate" of close to $1 million to clean up and repair roads damaged by the storm, which stuck the west-central part of the county.

County Commissioner Greg Tompkins, who toured the damaged areas Tuesday with fellow commissioners, said he "had never seen anything like it."

"I saw the '96 floods, but seeing something like that took just a couple of hours was something else," he said.

Three roads, Luckenbill, Woodward Canyon and Yox, remain closed. "All other roads are passable, but many are still pretty rough," Glaeser said. Other roads added to the list since Monday are Wooden, Johnson, Sims, Nelms and McFall roads.

Roads crews are mobilized and will focus primarily on repairs for the next two weeks. "We're hoping most roads will be able to support wheat harvest traffic by the end of next week," Glaeser said.

Officials hope to get a contract out within the next couple of days for rebuilding portions of Luckenbill Road and repairs to Yox Road will probably be included in that contract, he said.

The contractor currently working on the Goble Bridge project on Woodward Canyon Road will assist with the cleanup of that roadway in the vicinity of the bridge site. The contractor will also work to restore a bypass road around the construction site within the next couple of days.

Glaeser said the rough cost estimates for repairs at this time are $500,000 for Luckenbill Road, $100,000 for the Goble Bridge-Woodward Canyon Road and $350,000 for other work by road crews over the next two weeks.

Tompkins said it is unknown at this time whether any state or federal funds will be available to help cover the costs of the repairs and cleanup. If none are available, the county will have to fall back on its reserve funds.

"The middle of summer, a two-hour event and we could have more than a million dollars worth of damage," he said.

Damaged roads

The following three Walla Walla County roads remained closed today:

Luckenbill Road -- Areas of the road are gone due to flooding.

Yox Road -- Mud and debris have completely blocked road.

Woodward Canyon -- Water over roadway and in other areas mud and debris covering road.

The following roads are open, but are partially blocked by mud and debris:

Moorehead Road

Babcock Road

Upton Road

Lower Monumental Road

Lamar Road

Greenville Road

Magellan Road

Simmons Road

Eureka North Road

Harsell Road

Greenville Road

Touchet North Road

Sudbury Road

Thiel Road

Walker School Road

Wooden Road

Johnson Road

Sims Road

Nelms Road

McFall Road

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