Heavy rainfall causes road to collapse

MCNAIRY COUNTY, Tenn. — McNairy County deputies urge driver to be extra cautious when driving down roads that may be susceptible during heavy rainfall.

They say a number of things can happen from hydroplaning to getting carried off the road, or imagine the road just crumbling from underneath you. They say that’s exactly what happened on Huggins Bottom Road Saturday afternoon.

“Earlier today this is what it started out as in the middle of the big ditch we have now. A gentleman went across it. It was about a six to eight inch crack. He stops. He goes back, and he’s looking at it, and all of a sudden the road just caves into the ditch,” said Sgt. Mike Shipman of the McNairy County Sheriff’s Office.

McNairy County deputies say they’ve never seen weather damage this bad.

“Usually the side of the roadway gets washed away on both sides, and there’s just a little bit left, but this. There is no way, unless you want to play the Dukes of Hazard and try to jump it,” Sgt. Shipman said. “I’m just kidding about that.”

Sgt. Shipman says he blames this incident on one thing, the rain.

“From all the water, sticks, debris blocking it, the water starts running around and running on the sides of it. It undermines it and it caves in, and then just keeps washing the dirt out,” said the sergeant.

Even though this situation on Huggins Bottom Road may be rare, deputies remind drivers to take extra precautions when driving down roads that may be affected by heavy rainfall.

“It may rain for another day or two, and water’s going to keep rising,” said Shipman. “You just need to slow down on any of the roads.”

The McNairy County Highway Department was on scene Saturday surveying the damage and blocking off the roadway.

“If you run off in this, it would not be good,” Shipman said.

Deputies remind drivers to pay close attention at night, especially when on more rural roads that may not be well lit. They say it has not yet been determined by the highway department as to when the road will be repaired.

Sheriff’s office representatives also say if you witness road damage similar to this, to notify your local law enforcement immediately.

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