TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Part of a Tippecanoe County Road washed away in this week's heavy rainfall, creating a drastic drop from road to hillside.
The 12-foot drop on the side of the 4700 block of Dayton Road was spotted at about 7:30 Thursday morning.
Tippecanoe County Sheriff's deputies say it all started when a school bus driver noticed it while traveling his route down Dayton Road.
"The whole bottom washed down the ditch," Tipp. Co. resident Steve Booher said. "All the soil is washed out. It's just gone!"
PHOTOS | STRONG STORMS WASH AWAY ROAD
Booher drives a school bus in Tippecanoe County. Thursday morning, Booher's route was thrown off when he noticed a major road block.
"I had just stopped at the house just north of here and another bus had been through earlier that had reported the problem and transportation called me and wanted me to go look at, it so I did," Booher said. "I pulled up and that's the first I knew about it."
What Booher noticed was a 12-foot drop on Dayton Road just north of Wyandotte Road after heavy rainfall Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
"My thought was if somebody didn't see it and ran into it, it would be a big bump!" Booher said.
"We're just fortunate it wasn't dark out and somebody traveling south didn't run into it, because it is a substantial piece of roadway missing and we could have had a pretty serious crash," Tipp. Co. Sheriff's Sgt. Andy Cree said.
Cree says it all started when the 100-year-old brick structure underneath that portion of the road was unable able to handle the heavy overnight rain.
"That tunnel that was under the road allowing all the drainage to go through just wore away due to age," Cree said. "And now that it's no longer there to support it, all the ground washed out and of course the ground is un-supported.
"We were surprised that it was washed out quite as bad," Tipp. Co. Highway Department spokesman Brad Wesley said. "We weren't expecting this. It happens usually with a smaller pipe."
Tippecanoe County Highway Department officials spent Thursday morning closing that section down and securing the area nearby to prevent any accidents from happening down the road.
"If anybody was to drive over it, it would collapse and it would pretty much ruin about anybody's day to drop more than 9 feet from the road surface!" Wesley said.
County highway crews spent more than five hours blocking the road off and making sure everything in the area was secure.
They say that portion of Dayton Road just north of Wyandotte Road will be closed for up to two weeks while they finish repairs.
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