Roads collapse after heavy rains

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By Shaina Stockton and Christopher Brooke, Staff

UPDATE, JULY 7: After this story was published, more road collapses, flooding and rain-related damage occurred. Watch www.galaxgazette.com or visit our Facebook page for more photos and information on recent developments.


Two roads in Galax were closed until further notice following pavement collapses after heavy rains last week that dumped more than 3.5 inches of rain on the area.
Both Brickyard Road off Poplar Knob Road and Chestnut Drive near Goodson’s Stables were blocked off last Wednesday through Friday, and police notified the public about alternate routes that can be taken to avoid the areas.
On Chestnut Drive, the bank broke loose and slid down toward Chestnut Creek, taking the guard rail with it. A similar collapse occurred on Brickyard.
“No homes have been effected, and all of them can still be reached,” assured Capt. James Cox of the Galax Police Department in an email to The Gazette.
The city is making plans to repair the roads, but Cox was unaware of an exact restoration date on Friday.
Cox added that a large tree would need to be removed from the creek on Chestnut Drive. “It fell into the creek, which brought the bank with it,” he said.
The collapse of Chinquapin Trail in Hillsville after days of rain not only interrupted traffic for the residential street, but also water service there.
Water service was temporarily out in the areas of Chinquapin and Dogwood Drive after the collapse. Virginia Department of Transportation and town crews worked to fix the collapse, and by early afternoon Friday service had been restored.
The town released this statement after the work was done:  "Please thank the town maintenance crew for their services — they do a great job!”
It could take somewhat longer to fix the damaged road.
Unpredictable and heavy rain showers kept the Galax Police Department busy on the roads last week. Areas prone to flooding such as Givens and Shaw streets, and even areas such as Main, Lafayette and MacArthur streets collected enough ponding to warrant road blocks as the rain continued to fall.
VDOT listed several county roads as closed on Friday, due to flooding, debris and downed trees.
In Carroll, they included Elkhorn Road, Huff Hill Road, Deer Trail Road and Virginia 647. In Grayson, they included Rock House Lane and Wagon Wheel Road.
Campsites along the New River in Grayson County also were threatened with flooding as the water rose over the banks.