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Washed-out road strands Moore residents

Posted September 7, 2008

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— Tropical Storm Hanna left some of its most dramatic damage in Moore County, where rains washed away part of the only road to a small community.

Waters tore away a 10-foot-wide section of Autumn Drive on Saturday evening, stranding about 80 members of the Riverbend community. On Sunday, flood waters were still inches from houses, and Paul Carneal trawled around his neighborhood in a boat.

"(I) get tired of Mother Nature sometimes, I guess," Carneal said.

Residents said a nearby lake overflowed, causing a creek that runs underneath Autumn Drive to grow too large and wash away the road above it.

The State Forestry Service laid down a portable, log-mat bridge over the washed-portion of the dirt road. However, agents asked homeowners only to take vehicles across it during emergencies.

Moore County officials said neither the county or state have a responsibility to fix the road, because it is privately maintained by a homeowners' association.

"I'm hurt and disappointed with our government and our state and our country, because they don't want to help – just because it is supposedly a private road," Riverbend resident Linda Carneal said. "I'm sorry; I pay taxes just like everybody else."

County officials said they have tried to reach out to the Riverbend community. Members of the volunteer fire department have checked in on residents.

"No one wanted us to open a shelter, so they are staying at home," Carlton Cole, public-safety director for Moore County, said. "They still have power and electricity, so we are trying to help them take care of what needs they have."

Riverbend residents said they hope state officials will declare a state of emergency in their area, enabling them to apply for state and federal assistance.

Meanwhile, residents say they worry that more flooding could be headed to their homes – from an upstream dam strained by Hanna's rains.

Water spilled over the dam at Crystal Lake, and its flood gates have been opened. Waters have exceeded the safety zones around the lake, said Tony Sassano, chief of the Vass Volunteer Fire Department.

Sassano said officials are worried that the dam could collapse.


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  • NCresident28327 Sep 11, 2008

    Like I told the Animal Control person who took away a threatening dog down here the other day. Please do not spread rumors and pass judgement on this unless you know all of the facts. The community of Riverbend is but a stones throw away from the Little River. The Little River is fed by at least two other streams that come from the communities of Woodlake and Lakeview. Lakeview has been all over the news on account of it's near breached dam. These places release water as all dams do but sometimes alot more than others as in now! While it is important to keep residents safe upstream from here, it doesn'r make it ok to flood someone else. And if the State deems it necessary to release more water to accomplish this, then the State needs to not forget about where that water is going. Keep in mind, we are not talking about a rich community here. There are retired military folks down here and families (Tax paying) with small children. This repair is a drop in the bucket compared to most!!!!

  • NCresident28327 Sep 9, 2008

    Whats funny is.... I live in this community, luckily on the side that didnt get trapped in..... WRAL picked the wrong people to interview for starters, all that was done was wining... and the HOA spent all there money running someone out of the neighborhood, though it was for a good reason, they really should have money for problems like this... after this, mistake of "being broke" , the HOA will be lucky to get there dues from this household...

  • mommy2caroline Sep 9, 2008

    You chose to live there. Live with what you chose.

  • ohmygosh Sep 8, 2008

    What did they think private meant?

    The gov't has to be hardnosed on this. There are a gazillion private roads that people would like gov't $$ for.

  • fkhaywood Sep 8, 2008

    The DOT will take over a road if certain conditions are met:
    1) The road has to be built according to DOT standards and requirement.
    2) The owners of the road have to petition the DOT to take it over,
    3) There has to be a certin number of residences on the road per mile.
    There are many subdivision roads in the state that can never be part of the DOT system because they don't meet DOT criteria. Paying taxes have no impact as to whether a private road is taken over by the DOT. If you buy a home in a subdivision, that is a important thing to find out prior to buying, WHO OWNS AND MAINTAINS THE ROAD!! Someone already made that choice before you.

  • TheAdmiral Sep 8, 2008

    ""(I) get tired of Mother Nature sometimes, I guess," Carneal said."

    Mother Nature isn't on the moon - she will be happy to see you go.

  • Rolling Along Sep 8, 2008

    I own a private road and would not expect the state to pay for repairs or maintenance. YOU chose to live there and now you get the joy of paying the price. Our road has washed out once during Hurricane Floyd, we rebuilt the road, increased and improved the drainage. If you want a state maintained road, live on one.

  • NCSUBAEstudent Sep 8, 2008

    The HOA should step up and get the repairs made. That is what HOA dues are for. If the HOA doesn't necessarily have all the money, the HOA can get a loan and raise the cost of dues. It happens all the time. Welcome to the world of HOAs!

    And I feel your pain dealing with the HOA as well!

  • PeaceOut2017 Sep 8, 2008

    Private roads require private funds to fix. I predict an assessment from the HOA in their near future

  • piratejosh76 Sep 8, 2008

    This is so disappointing:

    "I'm hurt and disappointed with our government and our state and our country, because they don't want to help – just because it is supposedly a private road," Riverbend resident Linda Carneal said. "I'm sorry; I pay taxes just like everybody else."

    This is a private road, why should you and I be forced to pay for this? Of course, everyone's looking for a handout and that's why this country is heading for a slow and financially painful death.