I-40 flooding reveals deeper problem - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

I-40 flooding reveals deeper problem

Road crews are battling the aftermath of heavy flooding on some of Amarillo's roads this evening. At I-40 and Bell a drainage malfunction has workers puzzled.  Tuesday night's heavy rains caused more than just flooding problems; crews spent Wednesday patching sections of torn up highway.

The Texas Department of Transportation suspects some sort of culvert problem made a bad drainage problem worse.  "It was a lake, it was flowing, it was pretty big." That's how Celia Marquez describes I-40 at the Bell street overpass near her home last night. "When we saw and you know I saw it was a lake, I was like, wow... that's dangerous."

The flood is gone, but crews  still don't understand how the water became trapped under the road and caused so many cracks."Something happened. Something either clogged it or redirected it and directed it up, that's what we have to find out. We don't know yet what caused that." Braun says cracks made the road unsafe to drive, and that's why crews shut two westbound lanes to repair the damage Wednesday.

Now they'll have to dig under the roadway and examine the culvert below for answers.  "We have to find out what did happen here so it doesn't happen again," adds Braun.  He insists with heavy rains as Tuesday night's there's no way to avoid heavy flooding on parts of I-40 like the bell street overpass. 

He says engineers are examining better drainage methods but for now, the best way to keep drivers safe is to keep closing sections of I-40 when flooding becomes so severe.

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