Gas Prices Add To Rock Slide Headaches
By Nick Austin
ALTAMONT, GRUNDY COUNTY, TN (WRCB-TV)--Customers at the Corner Market in Altamont are paying a lot more for gas these days. Not good news since last weekend's rock slide closed part of route 108 in Grundy county. Many people's commutes to and from work have gone up by at least 15 miles.
Rocky Pack was laid off from his local saw mill job last November and has had trouble finding work. He's been hauling and selling metal and scraps ever since just to try to earn a buck. The new path to get to his customers sounds almost like a maze.
"Well, I usually take it to McMinnville, but now I'm having to take it to Manchester and I have to go off Pelham and go around the mountain," explained Pack. "Go all the way through Pelham, and then go to Hillsboro and then go to Manchester. Yeah, it's a lot of difference."
Around twenty five additional miles each time. However, the inconvenience isn't the only issue. With gas prices climbing to more than three dollars a gallon in recent weeks, people are having to dig deeper into their pockets to take these detours around the behemoth boulder and piles of rocks between Altamont and Viola. If you do the math, it's burning a big hole in Pack's wallet.
"You're talking about a hundred dollars more a week on gas than what you usually pay," said Pack. "It makes a difference on everything." For now Pack will do, as he says, what he has to do, but if fuel prices keep moving in the wrong direction his struggles will get worse.
"I"I'll have to stay home. It's all I can do. I just hope they get it cleared," says Pack.