Elmore County residents hope for flood damage relief

Posted by: Cody Holyoke - bio | email

ELMORE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) -- Shoveling dirt into a massive ditch carved by severe flooding.  It's not exactly what Mark Parrish had in his weekend plans.

"We've got families in distress. And they need help," Parrish explained.

The work is a necessary evil. Thursday's flash flooding destroyed part of River Falls Road--the only road home.

Since then, residents made the street the neighborhood parking lot while they worked to fill the hole.

"This is an emergency bridge.  We constructed it out of what materials we could get locally. People donated them," said Parrish, who lives in the River Falls community.

It's a job done with the aide of friends.  Not the county.

Elmore County's engineer says the broken bridge was on a private road.

The nearest resident strongly disagrees.

"They're telling us it's our problem, when no one owns property around this bridge.  It's on the other side of the bridge," exclaimed Barry Parrish, president of the River Falls Homeowners Association.

While leaders steer clear of the problem, homeowners struggle with the situation.

"If there's a fire or something, what are [we] going to do?  You can't get a fire truck across [the road]," Barry Parrish said.

Right now, a makeshift bridge is the community's only lifeline, but it's only a temporary fix.

If another storm rolls through the area, the loose rocks won't prove much of a match for Mother Nature.

"It's not going to last.  I mean, you're talking one good, 2 to 3 inch rain could wash all this back out and we'll be back to square one," Mark Parrish explained.

With rain bound to fall at some point, residents wait for assistance and hope for sunnier days ahead.

"We work hard. We pay our taxes, and we need help," said Barry Parrish.

Residents tell WSFA 12 News Elmore County paves and maintains the road over the bridge. 

County commissioners say they're looking for Federal assistance to aid the residents of River Falls.

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