Deluge floods streets, farm fields

Heavy rains result in road closures in Hamilton County

— Daily Freeman-Journal photos by Anne Blankenship This farm field north of Stanhope was completely submerged Thursday afternoon following the heavy rains earlier in the day. Stanhope received an estimated 8 inches of rain in just a few hours.

A heavy rainstorm Thursday morning flooded farm fields and county roads across Hamilton County, even closing a section of Highway 17 for a short period of time.

Highway 17 in Stanhope was closed for about an hour when the street flooded from the rapidly falling rain. EJS Police Department barricaded the streets until the water subsided, according to Sheriff Doug Timmons.

“They were able to open up the road after about an hour as the slowed and the storm drains were able to catch up,” he said.

Hamilton County Emergency Management Director Dylan Hagen said Stanhope seemed to be the area most affected and had between 7.5 and 8.5 inches of rain over a span of about 3 hours.

“Much of the street flooding has now drained into fields now,” he said.

An apartment building at the corner of Moore and Dryden Streets in Stratford was evacuated this morning after 5 inches of rain fell in that community. Sheriff’s deputies assisted the Stratford Fire Department in helping to evacuate residents. Timmons said by late afternoon, the residents were able to return to their homes.

Many other county roads were also effected.

Hagen said he had learned from the county engineer’s office that there were about 60 locations with water over the road.

County road D-65 between highways 69 and 17 was closed to through traffic because of the flowing water. That area and several other county roads were barricaded by the county due to the flooding conditions.

Timmons reminded area motorists to not venture into barricaded areas.

“The catch phrase is ‘Turn around, don’t drown,'” he said. “If the barricades are up, they are there for a reason.”