WOODSTOCK — A road washed out by heavy rains in a Woodstock neighborhood left residents stranded with no way to leave their homes Wednesday night, but one homeowner is letting the county cut a temporary road through her backyard to help her neighbors get moving again.
The storms that moved through north Georgia on Wednesday night hit the Hickory Glen subdivision in Woodstock especially hard and flooded a creek running under Stoney Creek Road, which is the only road out of the neighborhood for residents in 26 homes, said Tim Cavender, spokesman for Cherokee Fire and Emergency Services.
The water washed out almost all the dirt supporting the portion of Stoney Creek Road and mangled the drainage pipes below it.
The road will have to be completely reconstructed, Cavender said.
But one neighbor, Margo Owens, is letting Cherokee County crews cut a new road through her backyard to help her stranded neighbors leave their homes.
Owens lives on Mount Glen Lane off Stoney Creek Road and is one of those stranded by the closure.
She said Thursday morning she was happy to help her neighbors by sharing her property for the road, which will connect the Hickory Glen neighborhood to the Quail Woods subdivision.
“We have to be able to get out,” she said.
Owens said she was trying to drive out of the neighborhood Wednesday night when she was stopped on the 600 block of Stoney Creek Road, where the water had ripped the dirt away and left a gaping hole under the road.
She was talking to police and emergency workers about the situation when she suggested her backyard for a new road connecting Mount Glen Lane and Julie Anne Way in the Quail Woods neighborhood, she said.
“I said ‘You know there’s the road behind my house,’” she said, and later she was asked if her land could be used.
She quickly said “Yes.”
About half of the new road will be made up of Owens’ driveway and will be used until Stoney Creek Road can be repaired.
Cherokee County Public Works Director Geoff Morton said Thursday afternoon that the county will begin work on the road Monday and that it should be a relatively fast project.
“Once they get it excavated out and get the pipe in there, it should go pretty quickly,” he said. “This isn’t a several weeks-long process.”
Until the work is complete, Cavender said residents should stay clear.
“We’re trying to urge people to stay off (the road),” he said. “You don’t know when it’s going to break away. There’s nothing underneath it.”
And Cavender said with more wet weather on the way, the damage could get worse.
“The biggest concern is we’re expecting more rain,” he said. “That creates more breakaway from (the road).”
In the meantime, Cavender said the road running through Owens’ backyard was hoped to be complete by the end of Thursday.
Owens’ neighbors said they were thankful for her generosity in turning over her backyard and driveway for the road.
“She’s our heroine,” one neighbor, Deborah Case said.