ripping out

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forgoodorill

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi, everyone!

I don't understand a sentence in a message from my friend:

When there are hurricanes and floods in the US, getting food and supplies to people is difficult if the roads have been washed out by rainwater or rivers overflowing and ripping out the road surface.

So here, 'ripping out the road surface' means 'under the condition of ripping out the road surface'? And this sentence means 'it's hard to get food and supplies in the 'the roads have been washed out by rainwater or rivers overflowing' and 'ripping out the road surface'?

Thanks in advance! :)
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    So here, 'ripping out the road surface' means 'under the condition of ripping out the road surface'? And this sentence means 'it's hard to get food and supplies in the 'the roads have been washed out by rainwater or rivers overflowing' and 'ripping out the road surface'? :confused:

    [It] is difficult if the roads
    have been washed out by rainwater
    or
    [have become unusable because of] rivers overflowing and [thereby] ripping out the road surface.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    I would parse it as follows:
    When there are hurricanes and floods in the US, getting food and supplies to people is difficult if the roads have been washed out by
    1) rainwater or
    2) [by] rivers overflowing and ripping out the road surface.
    It sounds as though the writer is distinguishing between direct rainfall on roads on the one hand and, on the other, overflowing rivers (that might be carrying a large volume of water caused by heavy rainfall upstream, I suppose) that destroy the road.
     

    forgoodorill

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thanks, Roxxxannne! Very very good explanation! And it's clear now!:):thumbsup:
    And thanks, lingobingo for your effort! :thumbsup: :)
     
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