Woodville residents frustrated over constant damage to County Road 17

Northeast Alabama

WOODVILLE, Ala. – Some Jackson County residents are frustrated over the road they live on and the fact that their shortest route to town is still closed after more than two years.

Heavy rain caused a slide, or what some have called a cave in, on County Road 17 in Woodville. Road crews have been working hard to fix that problem, but they are also dealing with new damage from more recent storms.

With a forecast of more rain in the coming days, residents are worried the work will never get done.

Tammy McIntyre and her daughter Sarah Winsett just just passed the closed road signs at the top of the mountain. “When we first moved here there were no problems,” said McIntyre.

But that was 14 years ago.

For the last two plus years, they have been dealing with a closed road not even a mile from their home.

“It’s like the mountain is giving way,” explained McIntyre.

It seems every time a storm comes through, there is more damage.

“To me, it doesn’t look like they’ve done very much. It looks like they could have had more done working on it a year and a half that what it shows,” said Winsett.

“I thought it was supposed to be ready by Spring or Summer of this year but the way things are going, I’m not sure it’ll make it,” added McIntyre.

The heavy rain last week washed away some of the work already done by crews. And even as more rain falls, crews keep working.

“They work, work, work and then within not even a full day, it can just be washed away. And I think it would be great if there was some type of relief program or something that they could use for in times of that so they can just focus on that,” said Winsett.

Winsett said before the road closed, it would take her around 15 minutes to get to work in Scottsboro, but now it’s double that.

While she does not like the longer trip to work, she tells News 19 she is more concerned about how quickly first responders could get to her home should they have a medical emergency.

“My mom, she’s looking at having to have a couple surgeries this year, and if something were to happen with that or if my dad were to have a heart attack or stroke or something like that something that those seconds count. That ambulance will have to drive that long way and take twice as long to get here and that could be a matter of life or death for somebody up here,” explained Winsett.

McIntyre said slides may just be the risk of living on a mountain, but she just wants her road back.

“We have to drive around the long way and gas prices are going back up. It would just be really great to have it fixed once and for all,” said McIntyre.

In Monday night’s Jackson County Commission meeting, county engineer Jonathan Campbell spoke about the continuous damage caused by heavy rain to roads. He said the new damage was only to temporary soils put in, not to any work that had been done to permanently repair the slide and prevent future slides.

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