Rhodell family seeks help for fallen bridge – Insurance News Net

19September 2020

Register-Herald (Beckley, WV)



Sep. 19– A senior Rhodell couple should wade Tommy Creek to get their 2 great-grandchildren to the school bus and to go to the doctor, after their bridge collapsed when a Rhodell Volunteer Fire Department truck was driving over it around three weeks ago, the couple’s child reported.

After weeks of wrangling with regional authorities, an

insurance company and Western Pocahontas Land Co., the family said, member of the family cleaned up the fallen bridge from the

river on Saturday.”We can’t get any person else to do anything, and they have actually got to have a bridge,”the child, Tammy Lester of Wyoming County, said Friday. Lester reported being informed by an agent of Western Pocahontas Land Co., which owns the bridge

and the residential or commercial property around the bridge, specified that the company would not go to the expenditure of putting a bridge in for

use by one family. Due to a technicality, Rhodell Volunteer Fire Department Chief Patricia Cox reported, the department’s insurance company can not

pay to repair the bridge for the property owners, James and Charlotte Powell.

Advertisement ” The property owners ‘hands are connected,” the fire chief said Tuesday. “I done what I needed to do.”As soon as it collapsed, I went and turned it in on insurance,” she described. “Since(the Powells)don’t own the land or the bridge, they can not put a claim in(to insurance ).

“Cox also reported that Western Pocahontas Land Co. is the owner of the bridge and the land. Lester, 50, who lives in Barker’s Ridge, said that her moms and dads have actually resided in their Rhodell house for about 50 years. A private, 40-foot bridge links their residential or commercial property to Coal River Road.

Her moms and dads– James, 77, and Charlotte, 69– rely on the bridge to gain access to and to leave their home. They should use the bridge when they go to the store, to the doctor or anywhere else. They also rely on the bridge in case they would require an ambulance or fire truck

on their residential or commercial property. About three weeks ago, Rhodell VFD teams drove a truck that weighs under 18,000 pounds throughout the

bridge to check a fire hydrant on the Powells’

side of the river.”They had actually finished their meter studying, and when they were coming back throughout to leave, it collapsed on them, “Lester said. “They hardly got their truck off without going in the creek.

“She said there is about a nine-foot drop to the bottom. Cox verified Lester’s report.”We was doing our hydro testing that day, and that was the last hydrant of the day

,”Cox reported.”We crossed the bridge. We returned throughout, and the bridge offered.”The truck was harmed,”she added.” It remains in Pennsylvania, right now(for repairs).”Cox said the Rhodell VFD insurance company paid to repair the truck.”They had an engineer down there

,”she said.”They just said it was wear and tear on the bridge. We didn’t do nothing incorrect.”When the insurance company discovered the Powells did not own the bridge, Cox said, the Powells were barred from filing a claim. “That’s the big issue right now,”Cox said.”Pocahontas owns the land.”Lester said the bridge fell into the river and that an excavator was needed to eliminate it from the creek. As of Sunday, after the particles elimination, the Powells still had no bridge. They should wade the creek to enter or leave their residential or commercial property.

“My other half leased an excavator and made them a roadway, where they could get my papa’s truck out, throughout the creek,” said Lester. “His next-door neighbor let him park his truck in (the next-door neighbor’s) driveway, so (Mr. Powell) could wade the creek when he needs to get out.”

When Lester takes groceries to her moms and dads, she also wades the creek.

The Powells are rearing their 2 great-grandchildren, ages 6 and 4. When school is in session, the couple wades throughout the creek to take the kids to the bus and house, Lester said.

“Pretty quickly, it’s going to be getting too cold to even wade the creek,” Lester said. “The water’s getting colder already.

“They have a side-by-side they can cross the creek with, when the river’s low,” she added. “However when the river gets up, there’s no making clear it in a side-by-side, a car, anything.

“How would we even get an ambulance over there?” Lester asked, adding that her mother has health issue.

Lester said she did not ask Rhodell VFD to clear the bridge from the creek bed and that the department did not offer to help.

She said she has asked the Governor’s Workplace and Raleigh County Commission for help in clearing the creek so that the family may construct another bridge. She said the Governor’s Workplace staff directed her to Raleigh Emergency Operations Center, and Director John Zilinski said the county could not offer support in getting rid of the bridge.

Raleigh County Commission President David Tolliver said this part Tuesday that county engineers and clean-up teams can not access the river without consent from the West Virginia Corps of Engineers or the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP).

WVDEP Secretary Austin Caperton said Tuesday that he would have DEP staff talk about the project with Raleigh County authorities.

On Tuesday, Lester had actually been hoping for help from some state or regional company. She said the family had actually tired their resources. They just had a basic demand.

“At least, get it out of there so we can start building them another bridge,” she said. “If nobody’s going to spend for it, we comprehend we’ll probably have to spend for it, but the fire department ought to get the things out of the creek, if they have to lease something to do it with.”

She added that a county official said that if the fallen bridge is washed downstream in a rain, it could get additional bridges, some owned by Rhodell.

By Saturday, no help had actually been given, so the Lesters started the arduous job of getting rid of the heavy particles from the creek.

The family still needs a new bridge.

On Tuesday, the fire chief said that Rhodell VFD– a small department that is made up of volunteers– will help the Powells with things that they may require.

“We took the side-by-side and went up by truck and delivered (groceries) to them,” Cox said. “I informed them, anything we could do to help them, just let me understand, but our hands are connected.

“There ain’t absolutely nothing we can do right now.”

She said that if there is a medical emergency situation, firefighters will use 2 side-by-sides to get the Powells or the children throughout the river.

If there is a fire on the residential or commercial property, she said a security strategy will be followed.

“We’re dealing with a plan for it,” she said. “We have actually practically got that under control, too.”

It was unclear Tuesday night if Rhodell VFD could request that Western Pocahontas file a claim for the bridge.

Lester said the collapse of the bridge has been heavily gone over on social networks, with town homeowners taking different sides.

The fire chief said she has directed firefighters not to talk about the concern on social networks.

___

(c)2020 The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.)

Check Out The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.) at www.register-herald.com

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Source: insurancenewsnet.com

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