EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSRoute 10 Closure Concerns Logan Co. Residents
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kera Mashek
Videographer: Bill Oldani
Web Producer: Kera Mashek
Reported: Jul. 23, 2013 11:27 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 24, 2013 9:14 AM EDT
Logan , Logan County , West Virginia
A one mile stretch of Route 10 in Logan County is now closed and won't reopen for at least three months. While it's a fairly small section to be closed---the detour is another story..
Jennifer Smith's lived in a hollow in rural Logan County all her life. Until this week, getting into town was a quick 15 minute drive. But with a one-mile section of Route 10 now closed, she's forced to take the Kelly Mountain Road detour, which takes closer to an hour.
It's long, narrow, and windy.
"We're not complaining because of the inconvenience of the drive. Our complaint is we can't get emergency services when we need them," said Smith.
Those services are routinely needed by her daughter, who has severe asthma. When she has an attack...
"It gets very tight. My inhalers don't work. I don't have a breathing machine, so I have no other choice but to go to the hospital," Smith's daughter, Jane Bragg said.
That makes her fearful of the route the ambulance will have to take the next time she calls 911.
"I mean, we're pretty much trapped," Bragg said.
If coming down the Kelly Mountain detour isn't bad enough, when it rains the hillsides become mudslides that can block the only way to the Kelly Mountain road for days at a time.
In fact, 68-year-old Sue Browning had to cancel a surgery last week when a nine-foot mudslide left her trapped at home for two days. With her health history, she's concerned about needing an ambulance and one not getting to her in time.
"I'm always having trouble, always sick with something, and there's always something with the road--every day a new thing. It takes forever to get to the hospital. A person could die if you don't get there," Browning said.
The Logan Fire chief admits, the Route 10 detour is anything but ideal, but it's being handled as best as possible.
"They did put another ambulance in the Man area to help. Even still, it'd be wrong of me to say the detour's not going to delay response times in some cases, because you know, it is. But we do work hard to make sure we do our job and make sure people are taken care of," said Logan Fire Chief Scott Beckett.
In the end, those in Logan County can only hope the long detour doesn't end in tragedy for someone needing help, and that the new road makes all their headaches worthwhile.
Jennifer Smith and her family are especially frustrated with the situaiton because they were initially told that there would be a temporary road put in to give the 80 or so residents in their neighborhood access to Route 10, but that hasn't happened.
So she's organizing a community meeting to discuss possible solutions. It's set for Tuesday, July 30, 6:30 p.m. at Man High School. The public is invited to attend.
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