DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Lessons from the flood. DeSoto County is making sure it doesn't have a repeat of problems from this spring. One of the main roads from DeSoto to Marshall County was washed out for weeks. Thousands of drivers were rerouted and the county doesn't want another big rainfall to cause a similar mess.
"Now we're trying to go back in and repair the banks so we won't have such a problem next time if we have that rain event again," said Russell Dorris, DeSoto's road manager.
A huge chunk of Holly Springs Road was washed away after a heavy rain last April.
"As it is, a small rain event would go over Holly Springs Road and if we have that kind of big rain again we don't know what it might do," Dorris told abc24.com.
The county's spent thousands on repairs for the road. Now Dorris is focusing efforts on shoring up the surrounding creek banks so it won't overflow in the future.
"It has been expensive. It cost about $200,000 to repair Holly Springs Road this last time. This bank repair will be around $25,000," said Dorris.
It cost money for the county, time for drivers. When the road is closed. More than 4,000 people have to take a different route every day.
"It's the highest traffic count, east-west thoroughfare we have," said Dorris. "It's very significant. Several businesses are cut off when the road is underwater. If we can realign the roadway it would help those people access businesses and homes."
Realigning the entire road is the next big project, but that will cost the county even more, at least $15 million.
"We've made progress, but we don't have money to do it all at this point," Dorris told abc24.com.
That project is on hold until the money comes. Dorris expects to get government help over the next four years. Crews would start working on the overhaul within that same time frame. Construction on the levee banks should be completed by this winter.