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OSAGE, IA – Those living just outside the fringes of Osage, get a not so pleasant surprise when they tried to make it into the city.
A sinkhole, only getting larger by the hour, greets you heading eastbound on Highway 9 just before Osage.
For many it’s the most convenient way to make it into Osage, but today, neighbors say they have to drive out of their way through Mitchell, just to get to where they need to go.
As one of the first to see the damage, one neighbor recalls how quickly the bridge went from bad, to worse.
“We stood here probably for an hour then it started raining again, but we could just see it deteriorate. Not as bad as it is now but when I went back to the house it was probably down a foot or two feet,” said Larry Muller of Osage.
Larry along with his wife first noticed the damage to the bridge on their way back home from town.
Larry describes feeling a dip in the middle of the bridge that for some reason only seemed to get bigger.
After notifying the authorities, he began waiting by the bridge to warn other drivers when slowly the unthinkable happens.
The bridge connecting Highway 9 and Osage began eroding into the creek down below.
This morning, nearly half of the bridge had already fallen into the water, but by the late afternoon, almost all the bridge had collapsed and found its way down the creek.
Mitchell County officials say they are in the process of assessing all the damage to the area since Sunday’s severe weather, and will likely have a plan of action by Tuesday morning.
Until then, all travel on that stretch of road is limited and no one is allowed on the bridge for obvious safety reasons.
Officials urge residents to use marked detours if you plan to head into Osage. Those taking recently opened Highway 218 are also warned that the road may not be ready for heavy traffic quite yet.