Destroyed Gilmer County road causing safety issues

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 5:09 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LINN, W.Va (WDTV) - Gilmer County residents are struggling with a destroyed road.

People in the town of Linn say first responders are losing precious time getting to emergencies because of a bridge on Right Fork Ellis Rd.

They say the road closed signs have been there since it was destroyed in a storm last spring.

Earlier this week, the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department had to detour across a muddy field to make it to a garage fire because the bridge still hasn’t been replaced.

Fire Chief Martin Hess says it was a roll of the dice, and they were lucky to have made it.

“Strange things happen, and whenever you get in a bad situation, that seems like where the strange stuff pops up in. So, are we going to have to wait until we get somebody who passes away in a car wreck or structure fire before the state says ‘enough is enough’? We need to fix this bridge,” Hess said.

The victim of the fire is a mechanic. He said he lose tens of thousands of dollars in tools, equipment, vehicles and more.

He was using his own garden hose to keep his house from catching fire while waiting for help.

Chief Hess says they were in the area just a week before responding to a heart attack.

“We took a pickup to that one and crossed the creek and got there pretty quick. But a cardiac arrest, you’re talking about minutes, you’re talking about the difference between going to the hospital and going to the funeral home. The lady went to the funeral home,” Hess said.

Hess says the woman was 99 years old, and it would’ve given some peace of mind for EMS to get there quicker across a safe bridge.

He says first responders and neighbors have been requesting the DOH to fix the bridge for months but to no avail.

“If us stirring up the pot upsets the DOH state office or whoever, my people in Gilmer County deserve better than that,” Hess said.

5 News reached out to the DOH for comment but have not heard back as of this article’s publication.