Dirt Roads Make For Rural Muddy Messes - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Dirt Roads Make For Rural Muddy Messes

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Barnwell County, SC -

Country dirt roads:  They can be idyllic, or inconvenient, even unsafe muddy messes.

Joy Caldwell lives down a dirt road in Williston with her family.  For now, it's dried up a lot, but she says the road has been washed out and is impassable.

"Now that all the water has come down on the road, my car is parked in the front trailer up there and I have to walk to my house," Caldwell says.

That's a little more than a mile every time she wants to go and in and out.  Clearly inconvenient, but she says it's also unsafe because one of her sons has a congenital heart defect.

"If I needed them in an emergency, my husband is a fireman and with all the rain the fire chief said, with all the rain, they'd probably get stuck too," she says.

Barnwell County maintains more than 180 miles of dirt roads.

"A lot of larger counties have a lot more mileage than that but with only three motorgrader operators, it's a lot to maintain," County Administrator Pickens Williams Jr says.

Technically they don't maintain this road, but they say they will help out.  They say they can't yet because they've checked each day including this morning and it's still too wet.

"Until the road dries out there's no way we can maintain it," Williams says.  "It would just make a bigger mess if a motorgrader went in and bogged down."

They say it'll be days even if it doesn't rain - but what are the odds of that?  Not good.  And if it does a neighbor says that won't be good.

"It'll be a disaster, you won't be able to come in and out," Henry Taylor says.

Williams says there is an important takeaway for all home buyers, particularly those purchasing on a dirt road:  Not all roads are maintained by the county, so you need to check to see who does maintain it, to prevent being stuck in a muddy mess.

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