Caldwell County flood cleanup continues - | WBTV Charlotte

Caldwell County flood cleanup continues


Three days after five inches of rain fell in just one hour, people in the Collettsville area of Caldwell County continue to clean things up and repair damage caused by flooding.

The biggest issue for many is just getting out of their driveway.

Several private bridges were washed away. Over the weekend, State Emergency Management officials brought equipment in to get vehicles on the right side of the creeks so people could use them.

A North Carolina Forest Service crew also spent time building footbridges so people could get to their cars on the other side of the creek.

"We've built five of them so far, " said Jason Frye.

The crew is made up of inmates from a minimum security facility in Caldwell County.

They are called the "Bridge" crew but are primarily used to fight forest fires.

Building actual bridges is something new to the group.

"We haven't had any fires to fight but we've been fighting lots of rain this year," said David Greathouse who leads the crew.

Officials say the work is a way to help train the inmates in work ethics and discipline and building the bridges over the past few days has been a rewarding experience for them, they said.

"It is just unbelievable," said Judy Spencer, who got a new footbridge Monday. Her driveway bridge was demolished by the floodwaters of Greasy Creek.

That's never happened before that she has seen.

"And we have been there since '63."

County officials have been totaling up the damage but have no final figures yet.

They will have an option of asking the state for disaster relief but are not sure if the totals meet the threshold to get help. 

In the meantime, the Bridge crew says it will help people if it can.

Matt Walker said he was grateful for the bridge they built across from his home. Matt's wife is 9 months pregnant.

"Kind of have to have a way out because she could go into labor at any time."

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