Closing 671 has been especially challenging to drivers

Published 6:42 pm Friday, September 18, 2020

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To the Editor:

I would like to know what the idea was with closing Route 671 (General Thomas Highway), especially during the wettest and stormiest time of the year. People in Newsoms, Boykins, Sunbeam, Handsom and Statesville are left with a few back roads to use to get to Franklin.

I had an important appointment in Franklin last Wednesday, left an hour early and still barely made it there. Coming home, Blackhead Signpost Road, Gray’s Shop and Handsom were underwater. I was lucky that I was able to go down Mt. Horeb, though that was also flooded. I drive a KIA. I cannot afford a jacked-up pickup truck, so flooded roads are dangerous. Going down these detours even on a sunny day requires residents to constantly come up against tractors, tractor trailers, dump trucks and crazy drivers on curvy thin roads.

What about the access to police, firefighters and medics? The detours are not even clearly marked road to road. We have jobs, appointments and require basic needs taken care of in Franklin and beyond, but either cannot get there or get there safely.

When I moved here 20 years ago, we didn’t have flooded roads every week. How is work even being done on Route 671 with the amount of rain we have experienced lately? Now that the climate is a bit different, someone with VDOT or the state needs to figure out a better and safer route of travel for those of us in outlying areas that depended upon 671 daily. We could also use some kind of progress report on what has been accomplished so far.

Thank you,

Caroline Michelle Steward