Signal Mountain road washing away in rain - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Signal Mountain road washing away in rain

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SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TN. (WRCB) - Last week, the road collapsed on Battles Lane, exposing a coal mine. It was fixed, but there's growing fear more collapses will happen as water washes away the gravel.

The torrential rain that started Sunday hasn't let up. Residents along on Battles Lane say the more it rains, the more dangerous their already troublesome road becomes.

"I had to walk backwards and forwards to go to church Sunday," Bernice Milligan says.

Homeowner Bernice Milligan says it's just too dangerous to drive on Monday.

Water is now washing away whatever gravel was left over after the last rain. It's gravel residents pitched in and paid for themselves.

"Gets worse and worse every time," Milligan says.

Last Monday, the ongoing problem reached new depths when a 30 by 200 feet sink hole revealed a coal mine. Neighbors begged the county to do something about it.

"Get it fixed. Get it safe for my kids," Pam Brogan says.

Because it's a private road, officials said their hands were tied. But then, residents say a church friend saw our story and had state mining officials come out with local excavators.

"They were wonderful. I couldn't have paid for it," Milligan says.

They filled it in free of charge.

"He said they put it as emergency and he got everything going right then," Milligan says. "I'd like to thank Channel 3."

If they hadn't done it so quickly, she's confident this rain would've collapsed the entire road. Still, it has turned it to mud, and the uneven road continues to worsen.

"My husband was dying with cancer and Hospice had to walk up to see him," Milligan says.

She's hoping they can get it changed from a private road to a county road so it can be paved and fixed once and for all.

"It would be wonderful. This road has torn up so many of my cars," Milligan says.

Their county commissioner, Jim Field, says it would have to meet certain criterion for the county to take on. Battles Lane likely won't meet those in its current condition.

Homeowners say one of their biggest concerns is if an emergency happens.

They doubt an ambulance or fire truck would be able to make the drive to them.

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