Temporary bridge removed, 20 families stranded along collapsed roadway

Bridge removed at washed out road

IRON STATION, NC (WBTV) - Once again, families along Amity Lane in Iron Station are stranded.

Severe weather washed away a portion of the road on Saturday, leaving a 20-foot gap in the road.

A temporary bridge was installed, but the forestry service removed the bridge Tuesday afternoon. Project leaders tell WBTV the bridge was not designed for long term use.

Without the temporary bridge, 20 families are now completely stranded.

"I'm just mostly concerned about the people back here who can't get in and out. We got a lot of sick people back here and that is mostly what I'm worried about," said David Bowles, Iron Station.

Bowles is not alone in his worries. His neighbor, Doris Lowman, worries that she will not be able to get help from first responders in the event of an emergency.

"If we have an emergency, how are they going to get in to get us? They already told us, if our house catches on fire, it'll have to burn down. There is no way they can get in here," Lowman said.

The problem for residents along Amity Lane is that they live a mile off of the state's right of way and the state won't leave the right of way to work on other road. Also, the road was built on private property, therefore has to be self-maintained.

Bill Summers with Lincoln County Emergency Management says in order for the road to be maintained by the state - the developer had to have built the road to state standards, which it wasn't.

So in essence, everyone that lives along the road is responsible for each piece of road that touches their property.

That's because a neighborhood covenant clearly spells out ownership and responsibility for maintaining Amity Lane.

WBTV obtained the deed records, which say "obligation for the repair and maintenance" is the "sole responsibility of the owners." When it comes to deciding about repairs and maintenance, it's majority rule.