Road funding for flood disaster may be limited in Oklahoma counties

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CLEVELAND COUNTY,Okla.- The flooding has impacted roads across the state, and now counties are bracing for the amount of cash that will be needed to fix roads.

Cleveland County commissioners, just one of the places hit hard by raging flood waters.

Some roads have been chipped away, others just flat out washed away.

While it is affecting traffic and businesses right now, county commissioners say the state has taken away funding and they don't know what the future holds.

"This road here, Saturday night, early Sunday morning was almost impassable," Harold Haralson, Cleveland County Commissioner for District 3 says.

If you drive almost anywhere in Oklahoma, chances are you'll come across some type of road damage.

"It's not just in one location, it's kind of scattered around," Haralson says.

Debris and chunks of concrete now lay where roads used to be.

"This tree wasn't here the other day, I'm sure it came in Saturday night," Haralson said.

Hit after hit, Cleveland County Commissioners say damage is adding up into the millions.

"The immediate concern is the cash money that is available for immediate repairs," Rod Cleveland, another County Commissioner says.

The reason it's low? The state took away millions of dollars in county transportation funding.

"The majority comes from your tags and licenses for the motor vehicles, the counties receive a portion of that this past year, the state legislature capped the apportionment that we receive so we won't get any additional money as the economy grow," Cleveland said.

There's also another emergency fund that is supposed to have millions of dollars specifically for emergency repairs, right now it's down to $3 million because last year the state borrowed $10 million from it due to budget deficits.

Until they get an answer from the Governor or get federal FEMA help, they're hoping things don't get worse.

"If we get another heavy rainfall event and people try to drive through it, and it erodes underneath here and they get on that road, it could collapse underneath them," Haralson says.

A collapse that could bring lasting effects without the proper money.

"Nature is not a force to treat lightly," Haralson says.

Cleveland County Commissioners have already asked Gov. Mary Fallin to tap into the rainy day funds to help pay for emergency repairs.

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