‘We can’t get out:’ Family says they are stranded after rain washes road away

Posted at 7:33 PM, Jun 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-04 19:33:58-04

RUTHER GLEN, Va. -- Walking more than a mile down a winding, gravel driveway that is the only entrance and exit to his home is becoming a treacherous routine for Mark Ramsey. His family is one of four households living off Harris Road in Caroline County, a private roadway that was completely destroyed by rain waters this weekend.

"It's been a nightmare," Ramsey said. "I don't even know what to think about this. I've never seen water do something like this."

Harris road is completely impassable by vehicle. Parts of the road caved in and water cut deep gullies through long stretches of the roadway. Ramsey's truck got caught in a mini-landslide the last time someone tried to drive out to the main road, which is more than a mile from the first house on Harris Rd.

Mark Ramsey

"We can't get out. We have no way to get food in and out. Kids, if they have to go to the doctors. There's some elderly couples that live back here, that I know one of them needs medical treatment. I mean we're in severe trouble," Ramsey said.

Ramsey reached out to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers because they cannot figure out who is supposed to fix the roadway. VDOT and county officials said since it is private property, they do not maintain it. Fixing private drives like Harris Road is the responsibility of the property owners, officials said.

According to Caroline County property records, six people own property along Harris Rd., so it is unclear exactly who is supposed to maintain the road. VDOT officials said it would require a review of land deeds to learn for sure.

Ramsey said at least three of the four households currently occupying homes on Harris Rd. are renters. Ramsey said he has contacted his landlord, who lives out of state and only corresponds via email, multiple times.

"We've reached out so many times and we get nowhere," Ramsey said.

CBS 6 emailed Ramsey's landlord too, and as of the writing of this article, we have not heard back.

Caroline County Fire and Rescue personnel visited residents along Harris Road Monday morning. Chief Jason Loftus said his personnel ensured that no one was seriously hurt, and worked out plans for residents to get help in the case of an emergency.

Ramsey said they feel helpless over the whole ordeal, and he is planning on moving his family if nothing is done about the roadway soon.

"Getting out of here. We're just going to have to leave everything behind until one day somebody tells us it`s passable and come back and get our stuff and hope it`s still here," Ramsey said.

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