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Originally published: 2013-05-15 16:32:41
Last modified: 2013-05-15 16:32:39

Our View: Water damage: it's your way or the byway

If you find yourself staring this week at the remains of what was once a level driveway or private graded road, you're not alone. Five inches of rain in less than two days will test the best efforts of any private road crew to settle a permanent path from the highway to your High Country home.

But well begun is only half done, and even the best graded driveway will fill with fissures and grooves if the culverts and ditches depended upon for water diversion are not maintained. That's the message from officials with the Watauga County Soil and Conservation District, and it's a message worth listening to.

Anytime Watauga County experiences heavy rainfall leading to flooding or significant water runoff, the district office is inundated with calls about how to repair damage to driveways and roads. With rainfall totals topping six inches in many parts of the county earlier this week, those calls have kept the conservation office busy.

The bad news is that this office cannot provide financial assistance for such repairs. The good news is that the technical advice WCSCD can offer is invaluable.

Often, that advice centers on maintenance -- which today may seem a bit like latching the coop after the chickens have flown. But given the wet weather patterns Watauga and surrounding counties have experienced starting with last Halloween's early snow, not taking care of drains, culverts and other maintenance issues now could easily turn into a case of chickens coming home to roost.

Water finds a way. For information about how to help it find a way around your road, garden or driveway, call or visit the Soil and Water office on King Street in Boone. The best help they can give you is help before you need it.