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Conditions of Brunswick County road leave residents in a rut

Updated: Jul. 31, 2018 at 7:12 PM EDT
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SUPPLY, NC (WECT) - One development in the area is taking the phrase "neighbors helping neighbors" to a whole different level. Woodside Farms Two's main road, Greenfield Road, floods every time it rains, but recent rainfall has made the road impassable.

Residents are chipping in to pay for gravel to try to maintain the road.

According to North Carolina Department of Transportation leaders, residents have asked for their help, but since Greenfield is a private road, the DOT legally can't maintain it.

However, if neighbors can meet certain criteria — like paving the road — they can apply to have the state maintain Greenfield Road.

Gene Loflin, president of the neighborhood association, said residents can't afford to pave the road. They can barely afford to patch up the holes.

The small section of the road residents paved Tuesday cost about $1,600 for gravel and transport. The road is two and a half miles long, according to Loflin.

Loflin and others said while it's a pain to get stuck in the mud, they're even more worried about what will happen if there's an emergency.

"I tried to take my wife to the doctor up in Wilmington this morning, and I got stuck right over there and had to be towed out," Loflin said. "Cars can't go in and out so what do you do if the ambulance can't get through?

In the two decades he has lived there, he said this is the worst the road has been.

"If you have somebody with a heart attack, they're going to die back there. Nobody can get them so what do we do?"

Emily Flax, a spokeswoman with the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, said a deputy was able to drive through the road Tuesday, and she assured residents if there is an emergency, responders will get there regardless of the road conditions.

Resident Bonnie Solvey is still concerned.

"I could have a heart attack back there. I could fall and not be able to get to my car," Solvey said. "911 cannot get back there. If somebody's house catches on fire, what's going to happen? We can go get our mail. We can take out our trash. That stuff we can do, but this is very dangerous."

Residents have also reached out to Brunswick County leaders. According to county public information officer Amanda Hutcheson, emergency services staff can go out to evaluate the road's conditions to make sure emergency crews can get through, but that evaluation hasn't happened.

Neighbors said they'll continue to help each other, pulling each other out of the mud and providing rides when they're needed.

"I just sat in my car and cried because I didn't know what to do and thank God for a neighbor who came and pulled me out," resident Thelma Farmer said.

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