A roadway in Gap Branch, just above the city of Lynch, has partially collapsed and fallen into the creek. Lynch Mayor Johnny Adams said the county has agreed to make repairs.
“Approximately eight to nine years ago, there were flood waters on Gap Branch, which washed this area out completely,” said Adams. “We got a grant from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and they put gabion baskets in the bank to hold it in place.”
Adams said approximately one week ago the baskets began “tearing away from the bank just on the edge.” He said last Friday, the entire bank collapsed into the creek.
“Our city water line is just about 2 feet from where the break is and if it pulls away anymore it will break the water line in two, and we’ll have some more problems to deal with,” said Adams. “When that happens everybody who lives up here on Gap Branch will be without water.”
Adams estimated there are approximately 35 residential homes on Gap Branch.
“We talked to our magistrate, David Kennedy, and he talked with (Harlan County Judge-Executive) Joe Grieshop and they agreed to pay to have this repaired. They have already sent contractors up here to look at this,” said Adams. “We’re just afraid it’s going to get worse before they have the chance to get it repaired, because when you have a hard freeze and then the ground thaws out the ground tends to break loose even more.”
The break, at this time, is approximately 33 feet long and 10 feet deep Adams said.
“The police have blocked the roadway off and residents have to use another roadway to get out,” said Adams. “It’s just too dangerous for anyone to travel on this road, because it could collapse at any time.”
Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, or on Twitter @Nola_hde