Heavy rain washes out N.C. road to seven families

Heavy rain washes out road in Catawba County

MAIDEN, N.C. (WBTV) - Ellis Smith says the storm Thursday night seemed like it was stationary right above him.

“It poured and it poured and it poured,” Smith said.

Ellis says he measured 8 3/4 inches of water this morning in what was an empty bucket Thursday.

The rain filled up Bear Branch that passes under the road to his home and six others. The culvert though, could not handle it.

It broke loose and Friday morning a 30-foot wide cut in the road was left.

“We’re stuck,’ said Ashley Barger. 

The road is not maintained by the state. As a private road, the residents are responsible for repairs.

Ellis says he built the road decades ago and thought that someday the culvert might fail. Now it has and residents will be forced to pay thousands to have the road fixed.

Ellis and others say they have tried to get the state to take over the road but so far have been denied.

The state requires right of way be acquired, and the road built to state standards before the DOT will take it over.

In the case of most private roads, that cost is prohibitive to the people who live there.

Along Pond Road, people told WBTV News they knew it was a private when they moved in and are resigned to the fact they will have to pay to repair it. 

Crews were already on the scene by lunch time to do just that. 

They indicated they could make it passable by the end of the day if there were no more storms.

Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.