Doug Eberhart sounds worn out.
Eberhart, the Erath County Precinct 3 commissioner, breathed an audible sigh of relief Wednesday evening as skies cleared and the sun peeked out. His area is most of the east side of State Highway 281.
“Last night (Tuesday) was wild,” Eberhart said. “We were just out trying to find the bad spots.”
Eberhart said he didn’t know how many calls he received from the Erath County Sheriff’s dispatcher, he didn’t count them, but he knows it was a bunch.
Eberhart said it’s important for residents to realize the roads are saturated down to the base material.
“It’s so saturated another rise could cause roads to give because the base is so soft,” Eberhart warned. “It’s just like sponge right now. We need people using a lot of common sense.”
Eberhart said in places where he knows it is dangerous he has already placed barricades but said, “It can become dangerous real quick. If it comes back, places could give way that you can’t see.”
Eberhart said that was the case on County Road 156 between Morgan Mill and Bluff Dale Tuesday night.
“Part of that road gave way,” Eberhart said, and he couldn’t even see the 20-foot drop off in the daytime while out looking for problems and potential hazard areas. Someone called him about it and a truck had one of its tires about halfway off the road, he said. So if you can’t see it in the daytime you definitely won’t see it at night. The dangerous area is now blocked off.
Community members should not drive around the barricades - doing so is risking your life and perhaps the life of a rescue worker.
“It’s coming apart all over,” Eberhart said. “All roads are vulnerable right now. County roads are not the quality of state highways but even they are having trouble.”
Eberhart said where County Road 199 crosses Rough Creek the road is still open but only one lane, so motorists should use caution in that area.