Avery families denied help after road collapse crushes their hom - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Avery families denied help after road collapse crushes their homes

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NEWLAND, NC (WBTV) -

Two families who lost their homes when Highway 194 collapsed last month have been told by state officials that claims they filed for damage will not be paid.

Robbie and Charles Bailey and their families barely escaped when a wall of mud 50 feet high came their way on the evening of July 15.

"It sounded like thunder getting louder and louder and louder," said Robbie. Within seconds the two mobile homes were being pushed and crushed by mud and huge chunks of pavement that came from the road several hundred yards above them. 

The Baileys and another neighbor, whose home has been condemned, have asked the state to compensate them for the losses, but the state is saying no. In a letter from the North Carolina Attorney General's Office the state said the homeowners have not proven that anyone with the state was negligent and therefore no claims would be paid.

"Whoever decided that, I don't see how they can sleep at night," said Charles Bailey on Wednesday.  "It's just wrong." 

The families have contacted an attorney in Boone to look into the matter and to see what can be done. For now, they have rented other trailers but are struggling to make ends meet, said Heather Bailey. "We have a trailer we can barely afford and it has only two bedrooms and there are five of us." 

The home that was crushed had four bedrooms. Though the families did own the trailers and the land, none had insurance. Even if they wanted or could afford to rebuild on the property it would be difficult at best to do that, aid Robbie.

Mud is 50 feet deep over what was ground level before the  slide in July and covers almost 7 acres.

The families are hoping the state will change it's decision but intend to fight until they are compensated. "Without their help we don't know what we are going to do," said Heather.

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