Vernon Bailey thinks his flooding came from the road the gas company put behind his house earlier this year. Now he's been flooded three times in three months.
Even a month after the July 8 flood, the washout was visible in the hollow of Bridge Branch Road, north of County Route 1. It was so obvious that Bob Gates stopped to investigate. He found Bailey, who had just finished cleaning up from the third flood of the year, on the weekend of July 30.
"I just got everything put back together," Bailey said, "When it came again. I wheelbarrowed it out, took a week and a half or seemed like it. I get flooded every time it rains."
Gas road and washout Photos this page by Bob Gates Vernon Bailey stands by a pile of mud and rocks.
More washout at Bridge Branch.
Gas roads aren't all that's up the mountain behind the homes on Bridge Branch--or under them either. Timbering has gone up there in the past four or five years. And a deep mine went under the houses, with residents required to sign papers about their subsidence rights. During the mining, well water turned the color of tomato juice.
The logging road went straight up from the bottom and then zig zagged up the hillside. Vernon Bailey walked up there and saw a mudslide coming straight down the road.
"We've got pictures," Johnnie Forcker said. "What trees they don't haul out, they push over with the bulldozer...They make roads every 25 to 50 feet in the mountains.
"They've got to have regulations on how they timber," he continued. "It's terrible how they destroy the woods. If the cut all the daggone timber off, there's nothing to hold the water back. We've been here for years and years and years and ain't never had nothing like this."