A collapsing section of Detour Road near its intersection with Underpass Drive in south Oneida Friday morning is causing headaches for utility crews.
The street itself is a low-traffic roadway, and residential traffic can easily be rerouted via Niggs Creek Road while repairs are made, but the solution is not as simple for several local utility companies.
The issue arose after overnight thunderstorms dumped several inches of rain in a short amount of time. According to Oneida Mayor Jack E. Lay, the Oneida Water Plant's gauges recorded two inches of rain in two hours beginning around midnight Friday morning.
A culvert beneath the roadway was stopped up, causing the water runoff to wash away the earth beneath the pavement and the guardrail on Detour Road.
Shortly before 9:30 a.m. Friday morning, the road began to give way. A passing motorist realized the road caving in and notified Mayor Lay, who quickly had street crews en route to close the road.
Crews from Huntsville Utility District were on the scene by 10:30 a.m., and were expected to be joined by crews from Highland Telephone Cooperative and Citizens Gas Utility District.
A 6-inch water main supplying HUD customers in Ponderosa Estates and south Oneida was shut off around 10:30 am. Friday. Reportedly, a Citizens Gas gas main into Oneida traversed that particular section, as well as a Highland Telephone fiber optic cable. What that meant for customers of those two utilities was not immediately clear.