Walsh County Highway Department left with damaged county road

Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 6:18 PM CDT
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WALSH COUNTY, N.D. (Valley News Live) - County RD 6 in Walsh County is currently in a state of damage after someone in the community tried to help.

Yesterday, the county highway department took to social media to share the damage, and they received a wide range of responses.

Jason Johnston, the Walsh County Highway Superintendent, said that he understands that this may seem like nothing to the average community member, but for their team, it’s a big deal.

“There’s some people that think that we’re making a big issue out of it for nothing, but to us it is something,” Johnston said. “It’s a liability. For people that don’t know the area that are driving through, just going through places, it’s a liability.”

Johnston said he understands that it was meant as a way to help out the community, but it’s turned in to some serious damage.

“Now it’s damages caused by an individual who just wanted to help and the help wasn’t to help,” Johnston said. “It actually is a hindrance in this case.”

The Walsh County Highway Department took to social media on Thursday, where they asked community members not to try and fix county roads that may have been damaged due to flood waters.

“Our guys were going out there that morning to see if the water was out done crossing the roads,” Johnston said. “We could have just made repairs to open it up, but instead we found the damages that were done instead and create a little bit longer process for us to get the road open back up.”

Johnston said by trying to help, you may be causing more problems and making actual repairs more difficult.

“Now, instead of just repairing that hole that we had with the proper materials and the proper lifts and getting the proper compactions, now we have to dig it out and do it again,” Johnston said.

Now that the county can’t ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance, all they can do now is try to repair the road the best they can.

“For this one, we’ll probably just be throwing away any idea of trying to get a FEMA declaration on this stretch,” Johnston said. “Once we get it to dry up a little bit, we’re going to end up having to open up the road, repair it properly, get down to the grades and make sure we don’t have a sloppy mess inside it.”

As of now, the highway department is still trying to see if the individual involved can be fined.

The Walsh County Sheriff’s Department is urging any one with any information to reach out to them.