‘The water comes so fast and so harsh. It’s frightening’: Flooding washes away Forsyth County woman’s driveway, cuts off access to home

By | November 14, 2020

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — Powerful rain washed away a driveway in Clemmons, cutting off the homeowner’s road access.

“I have been without power and no access to my home. The only way I can get out is if I hike through the woods,” Beth Brown said.

Wednesday night, Ellison Creek started spilling out of its banks. That night she says the water rose halfway up her yard and there was a gap about 4 feet wide in her driveway. By Thursday, the floodwaters had washed away her driveway and one of the culverts.

“The water comes so fast and so harsh, it’s frightening. You can hear it inside the house,” Brown said.

Brown has lived along the creek for a decade. She and neighbors say the last three years have brought devastating floods with no solutions.

“I had an excavator come in and try to give me pointers. It’s bigger than anybody I’ve talked to; they just don’t want to touch it. They say this is too much, this is something for road crews,” Brown said.

“There are people further up who have been around for 35 years and they said maybe once every 10 years it would come up some, and it seems like now it’s every year or twice a year,” Steven Griffin said.

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Griffin lives next door and immediately got to work when he saw the water rising.

“I keep 40 sandbags just outside my basement door. So, we came home from church and it was closer to the house than it’s ever been, so we immediately went into our mode of putting sandbags in front of the door,” Griffin said.

Homeowners have tried asking for help, but say they aren’t getting any solutions.

“My first initial thought was that I just improve the passing of the driveway, put a bridge in, more culverts, something to improve it and solidify it and make it safer. I was told I cannot touch it; I cannot do anything because it’s regulated, and it is basically, I would get fined if I do anything without their permission,” Brown said.

Brown’s witnessed firsthand what the water can do and at this point, she’s not sure anything can stand up to it.

“It’s devastating, it’s scary. We are all safe and I’m glad for that, but now it’s a problem of what I do, what can I do, who do I turn to,” Brown said.

Neighbors created a GoFundMe to help Brown with repairs. You can donate here if you want to help.

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