A 50-foot chunk of road leading to their homes is gone. It washed away during last month's flooding.
Sharon Cloutier is a resident of the Meadowlark Road neighborhood who literally needs to go over the river and through the woods to get home. Right now, simple errands are a nightmare.
“My car is on the other side of the road. I had to come down the road with my white van right there. Go down the bank, across the river, up this bank, up this road until I can get to the car to get out,” Cloutier said.
She is one of six people who live on the other side of the missing part of the road. WDBJ7’s David Kaplan made the muddy trip with Cloutier to see how tough it was; they made it okay.
It was a different story for WDBJ7 photojournalist Andy May. He had some difficulty crossing the road during the day. It is even more complicated during the night-time, according to Del Sprinkel, head of the neighborhood roads committee.
“Oh lord. We carry lanterns with us and stuff. They've made their makeshift walkways as you've seen, just doing their best to get across,” Sprinkel said. “Then when we got this heavy rain two weeks ago, it just took the whole thing out.”
Sprinkel says that a pipe burst two months ago. So when the rain came in two weeks ago, water wasn't flowing properly under the road, which is why the road is no longer here.
Since this is a private road, Sprinkel says he won't get much help from the Virginia Department of Transportation to fix it. The people who live in the neighborhood have to raise the money themselves.
Sprinkel says he needs at least $9,000, all to let six people get home with the ease most of us take for granted. He got that $9,000 figure from a Chatham-based contractor who reached out to the neighborhood to try to help.
He said the original estimate for the fix was $40,000, so they still have a long way to go.
The contractor will start within the next two days regardless of whether or not the neighborhood has the money.
Sprinkel acknowledges that raising that money will be a challenge.
People interested in making a donation can drop it off at SunTrust bank branch or Shady Grove Baptist Church on Jordantown Road. Checks should be made out to Oak Crest Hills Road Fund.
Original story from January 31, 2013
Slowly but surely all this rain is causing roads to virtually disappear.
Prime example? The water washed away part of Meadowlark Road in Bedford County. A huge chunk, almost the size of two small cars is missing. WDBJ7 is told about nine families have to access this road to get to their homes and right now most of them are stranded.
"We've got people up there in their 60's and such and there is no way that they can do it," says Del Sprinkle, a resident.
People who live in the area say they've been begging the county for years to redo this particular stretch. Several years ago another road close by washed out. Residents say had it not been for people and church donations, it wouldn't have been fixed.