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Broken bridge traps Pine Grove residents

PINE GROVE TOWNSHIP, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - A week after destructive flooding in Southern Schuylkill County, residents say they are crawling across a creek to get to civilization.

The bridge connecting their homes to the main road collapsed during last Thursday’s storm.

Alycia Barr is one of the residents left stranded by the broken bridge.

"We heard a crack, thinking it was a tree... oh no it was the bridge."

That bridge was on Geary Wolf Road in Pine Grove Township, just off of state route 645,

Alan Patton, another stranded resident, said "we have no other way to get back and forth to the civilized world, we're stuck. Plain and simple."

The bridge has been broken for a week.

Alan reached out to local, county, and state agencies for assistance, without success. It's a state road but the bridge itself is privately owned, and the owner doesn't want to pay for a replacement.

"The frustrating part is we found how little help there is for someone with a private bridge." Alan said.

Help was found, however, in volunteers like Aaron Maidenford who is with the Ravine Fire Company, who spent their Fourth of July installing a pulley system which allows Alan and Alycia to get groceries, pet food and mail across the creek.

"It’s hard to see someone who can't get assistance. We're all human and can realize the need."

Firefighters also put up a rope for them to hold as they walk across what's left of the bridge.

They're a retired couple, who planned to spend the rest of their days in this house... Which they just bought in October.

"We took all of our savings and put it into buying that house. The rest of what was left went out the door to pay for the bridge!" Barr said.

They need the bridge back up... So they're biting the bullet... Taking out a loan... And paying for it themselves.

To date, the couple has spent nearly 10-thousand dollars on a contractor. The entire project is expected to be between 30 and 40-thousand dollars.

The retired couple is hoping for a little community help in their bridge-building project. They've set up a GoFundMe account where you can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/bridgefund .

 


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