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Last updateWed, 27 Dec 2017 12am

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Stranded Placid Bay Estates residents say they are on the "Dark Side"

 

Lakeview drive dam Friday evening. (Brandi Cobb)


 

Saturday morning, Lakeview Dam is completely gone. (Brandi Cobb)

Roughly 50 stranded residents virtually cut of from civilization in Placid Bay Estates are calling themselves residents of the “Dark Side.”

Residents on the dark side are frustrated, worried, confused and feeling left out in the cold.

Tonya Hawkins asked “How are emergency vehicles going to get to us in an emergency, fire trucks can't even reach us out there.”

Parents don't want to send their kids to school having to navigate the dangerous foot path created on Lakeview Dr.

William (Billy) Cobb who owns his own company is losing thousands of dollars being unable to get his equipment out to work.

Residents on the dark side are banding together but feel the rest of the subdivision has left them high and dry.

 

A view of the dam at Mattox Ave. washed out.

 


Lakeview Dr. is the only hope for the dark side residents to leave and enter the subdivision and passage is only possible by foot.

Lakeview Dr. was literally turned into a waterfall during the flooding and as waters receded the damage revealed was shocking.

The main sewer line to that section of Placid Bay was washed out contaminating the entire area. A section of the roadway on the outbound lane suffered severe under wash causing the road to collapse underneath.

A temporary sewer line has been put in place on the inbound side of Lakeview. Residents are forced to navigate an array of filled-in dirt, cracking asphalt road and then must step over the temporary sewer line to a two-foot wide path then back onto asphalt while crews work to replace the permanent sewer lines.

This reporter visited the foot passage on Sept. 13 at around 10 p.m. after the Placid Bay Civic Association met to discuss the problem.

Residents are allowed to park vehicles on either side of the washout in the evening hours but must remove them by morning before work crews arrive.

The road leading up to the mammoth washout is dark and unlit. Crossing the crumbling side of the road is scary to say the least and residents fear someone is going to fall off the drop off which is at least one story deep in some parts.

The trip across is made more harrowing by the noise of startled beavers, which residents say is a big contributor to the water spilling over the roadway.

Some residents claim that for years they have volunteered to clean out the three drainage pipes beneath Lakeview that connect Turtle Pond and Lake Placid, but have quickly been stopped by the Association.

The Association denies ever trying to stop residents from clearing the drains and are always welcoming help from the residents.

The few residents from the dark side who managed to get word of the meeting and make it to the civic center, listened to presentations by VDOT and the PBE Water Company but are still concerned because their needs have not been met.

David Brown, VDOT residency administrator for the Northern Neck, spoke to a crowd of over 50 people only about 10 of whom were residents of the “Dark Side” including three on the Board.

Brown reported at the meeting last night that VDOT is stalled until the contractor, Franklin Mechanical, working on replacing the permanent sewer line, is finished.


Brown addressed resident concerns that the road will be eventually brought up to state standards to avoid future problems but stated that the main goal is a temporary fix to allow vehicle traffic to get across and estimates a Thursday or Friday completion for that phase of the project.

Residents on the dark side are skeptical of that goal, saying the crews working on replacing the permanent sewer are knocking off early.

Brown said Lakeview is considered a secondary road and funding in recent years has not allowed upgrades, but assured residents that with the amount of rainfall for the area, even if the road was up to state standards, it would have washed out due to the succession of dam breaks in the area.

 

Update: Today VDOT and Franklin and Mechanical are working together. Franklin Mechanical must wait for the road to be built up with dirt from VDOT to lay the next section of pipe. As the new pipe is laid, VDOT continues to build the road.


 

Linda Farneth


 

 

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