By Mr. Stephen Standifird (Leonard Wood)January 14, 2016
Fort Leonard Wood had some closures during the rainstorm that caused flooding across Missouri Dec. 26 through 28, and overall sustained more than $700,000 worth of damage as a result of the high waters.
"The bulk of the damage caused by the storm was contained within the flood plains of the Big Piney River and Rubidoux Creek," said Matthew McCray, civil engineer, Contract Inspection Branch, Directorate of Public Works. "The most notable damage caused by the flood was the failure of an unused prototype aluminum bridge spanning the Big Piney River in the vicinity of Happy Hollow. It had long been closed due to structural cracks in multiple components of the bridge."
As a result of the high flows and fast currents, the bridge was washed off the piers and fell into the river, McCray said. The bridge is no longer structurally sound and will have to be removed and demolished.
The railroad line running through Fort Leonard Wood did sustain enough damage to be closed until repairs can be made, said Bobby Rakes, Directorate of Public Works, director.
"The railroad track ballast subsided at the 4.5 mile marker on the main track, leaving a short section of the rail unsupported," he said. "DPW completed its damage assessment, and the railroad remains closed pending repairs."
McCray said DPW received only a few reports of leaking from the roughly 1,500 buildings on post, and damage to the roadways is being assessed.
"DPW is working numerous outlying roads and culverts that are passable, but in need of repair as a result of the high-water flows," he said.
All together, McCray estimates the flood caused about $750,000 worth of damage.
The delays to travel, even with the roads that sustained some damage, were practically non-existent on post.
"All roads within the cantonment area remained open throughout the flood," McCray said. "The greatest impact to travel was a result of flooding off the installation."
DPW is currently working multiple contract actions for repairs throughout the installation, but it's possible that repairs won't be addressed until sometime in the spring, McCray said. However, DPW does not foresee any long-term closures.
"The most important thing for anyone to know about the damage is the inherent risk of danger that any flood presents," McCray said. "Please be cautious at all times when driving near flooded areas, and never enter a flooded roadway."