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Heavy rain washes out road, stranding families

Posted December 3, 2009

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— Heavy rain washed out the only road to a southern Vance County subdivision overnight Wednesday, and residents and a developer are disputing if the road was maintained properly.

A creek running underneath Geranium Lane, off Briggs Road, between Kittrell and Henderson, flooded when up to 2 inches of rain fell. Eight families who live in the Spring Forest subdivision were stranded.

Rains wash out road to subdivision Rains wash out road to subdivision

Residents said they discovered the dirt road was out when they left for work around 6 a.m.

"I've never seen a road washed out so bad. It was impassable," resident Carroll Bou said. "There was mud and crushed gravel going all over the place, and the pipe was sticking up out of the ground."

"There was no way you get across without risking going in the creek," resident Donna Dement said.

It is the second time in two years that the road has been washed out, residents said. They blame the developer, Ventures Housing, which owns remaining properties in the subdivision, for not maintaining the road.

"The road needs to be leveled out and properly graveled so that it doesn't wash away every time it rains," Dement said.

Tommy Hester, a partner with Ventures Housing, said that some work has been done on the private road over the years. He said that the homeowners association hasn't paid an annual fee for road maintenance in four years.

Several residents said they are not aware that a homeowners association even exists.

The developer sent out a crew to make emergency repairs. The crew laid down new dirt and was replacing a pipe Thursday morning. The work could take another day to complete.

In the meantime, the only vehicular access to Spring Forest access is cut off.

"I'm losing a day's pay and possibly a day's pay tomorrow," Dement said. "And I have bills that don't stop because this road is out."

Hester said that the repairs won't stop the road from flooding again because of the subdivision's geography. The homes sit up on a hill, while the road crosses the creek in a valley.

Homeowners watching the repair work Thursday said they want a permanent fix to Geranium Lane.

"It will be fixed. This is why this community is down here," Dement said.

39 Comments

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  • SomeRandomGuy Dec 3, 2009

    Aren't residents usually the board members of HOAs?

  • Dick Dec 3, 2009

    Man-made Global Climate Change...

  • Dirty_Water Dec 3, 2009

    mjjunk nailed it... the culvert is undersized and the water overtops the road. Culverts should pass a 25 year storm without overtopping to meet minimum standards. But actually, it's all Bush's fault. I'm sure Mr. Hester inherited the problem from the previous administration.

  • wiseowl Dec 3, 2009

    all you can do is shrug.

    its 2009, not 1809 - maybe living on a dirt road built over a creek isn't a great idea if you depend on that road for your livelihood.

  • NCSULandscaper Dec 3, 2009

    the main road thru that subdivision is now a state owned road because its now paved. It was in so bad of shape the state had to take it over

  • armedattitude Dec 3, 2009

    They had not paid the HOA's fees in 4 years because most of them were not aware that there was a HOA. They never recieved a bill for it, and the 1 woman who did know said it comes straight out of her house payment every month. But for a HOA's, there is no board of directors, there is no HOA policy, no paperwork at all that was given to the new residents on that road, nor notification. The last time the road was done it was even inspected.

  • maddie Dec 3, 2009

    They had not paid the maintenance dues in FOUR YEARS so what do they expect?

  • bkcooper Dec 3, 2009

    Jrfan88...what are you talking about??..McDonalds ???...

  • Whatever Geez Dec 3, 2009

    I would never live in a subdivision for doublewides that have HOA dues.....now If it was a country club maybe LOL

  • 2boys Dec 3, 2009

    You get what you pay for. If they didn't pay the dues, you can't blame the developer for continuing to offer services.

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