UPDATE: It’s been almost a month since a Marion County road collapsed. Heavy rain washed away parts of Mullins Cove Road, making it dangerous to drive on.

Crews have been working around the clock attempting to fix the problem, but residents tell Channel 3 the road is getting worse.

Mullins Cove Road reopened on Monday. But for some neighbors they are hesitant to utilize the road so they depend on their boat to check in on loved ones.

It normally takes 87-year-old Billy Hill 15 minutes to get to Jasper. When Mullins Cove Road closed for a month, a quick trip to the store, turned into an all-day affair.

“If I went to Jasper it took me an hour and 45 minutes from the time I left here until I got to Jasper. Then if I had to get any groceries or things, and started back, I had another hour and 45 minutes. So it was roughly 4 hours to get from here to Jasper,” said Hill.

That's why the Dobbins family stepped in to help. They use their boat to bring Hill food.

“We brought her bacon, eggs, milk, and bread. You know the staples,” said Celeste Dobbins. She said it is the most efficient way to check in on her friend. She travels from Alabama to make sure Hill is okay.

In April, heavy rain washed away a portion of Mullins Cove Road. Marion County crews used rocks and dirt to fill in the area where the landslide happened.

Prentice Cooper State Forest gave Marion County some of its land to help widen a portion of the road.

Neighbors said that is not enough and they refuse to travel until it is properly fixed. 

Marion County road crews are working to develop a permanent solution to fix the problem.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS: Another road is crumbling down a mountain this week because of the excessive rain.

First there was Highway 68 in Rhea County and now Mullins Cove Road in Marion County.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Drivers getting used to longer commutes with HWY 68 closed

Carl Lawson has lived on Mullins Cove Road for 40 years. He's not surprised the road is deteriorating.

“Back in '82 there was a flood that washed it all away," Lawson said. "The state came in and fixed it, put in new culverts and everything. Since then there has not been much done to it at all.”

Earlier this week, part of the road started washing away. Crews attempted to fix it, but the road collapsed Wednesday. Marion County Road Supervisor Jim Hawk tell Channel 3, the heavy rain is to blame.

A road barrier was put up to prevent drivers from getting too close. Neighbors said it is an inconvenience.

“Those people down there now got a long drive. From here to that break, it is probably about 14-15 miles. They have to drive all the way out here, go across Suck Creek Mountain, over to Highway 28, and then back to Jasper,” said Lawson.

It will cost almost $4-million to repair the road, money that is not in the county's budget. Road crews hope they will receive assistance from FEMA.

READ MORE | Crews working to fix Marion Co. road after partial collapse 

In the meantime, Lawson hopes they find a permanent solution.

“I just believe they could do more than what they are doing," Lawson said. "If they would just do it.”

It is still unclear when crews will begin fixing the road or how long it will be closed.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.