IRON STATION, N.C. — An entire neighborhood in Lincoln County is stranded after the only road to their homes washed out during a storm on Tuesday.
Amity Lane is near Furnish Road in the town of Iron Station, east of Lincolnton. On Wednesday morning, emergency crews started trying to build a walking bridge across the 30-foot gap as a temporary fix. But neighbors will have to rebuild the road on their own.
The bridge, in addition to helping trapped neighbors get out, will help small emergency vehicles get into the community.
Channel 9′s Ken Lemon learned 26 homes are at the end of Amity Lane, which is a private road. Neighbors said a culvert washed out just after 4 p.m. Tuesday, leaving behind a gap about 6 feet deep.
“The force of the water twisted the culvert and crushed it as well,” said emergency management director Mark Howell.
Robert Hudson was at work when it happened and couldn’t get back to his wife.
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“I talked to her just a little while ago,” he said Wednesday morning. “She wants me to hurry up and get home. I told her ‘we’re working on it.’”
He’s pretty powerless. So is Melissa Lilly, who is trapped on the other side. She spoke to Lemon by phone.
“I’m pretty upset ‘cause we all work back here and we can’t get out,” she said.
Lilly said the others trapped include one person who is disabled and a pregnant woman who almost went into labor on Monday.
“We’ve got older folks here. Got a guy on oxygen,” she said.
Emergency crews building the foot bridge will make it large enough for medics and firefighters to cross on an ATV with extra equipment and transport people if needed.
“We are doing all we can to get access to them, get them access out of that community,” Howell said.
Neighbors said this is the second time this has happened to them. Ten years ago, Lemon was in the same spot covering the same story -- in July 2013, to be exact.
Some people want the state to build a new road but, as mentioned before, the road is private. One neighbor said the last time it washed out, it took them five months to raise $57,000 just to replace one part.
The emergency management director said the bridge will stay here for as long as people here need it.
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