High water strands 14 people in Wayne County

Jason Ellis takes his kayak across Dam Creek in East Lynn for groceries Tuesday. (WCHS/WVAH)

Floodwater swallowed the bridge spanning Dam Creek, stranding 14 people in Wayne County’s East Lynn area.

To get around the creek, people have had to take a four-wheeler path over the mountains that doesn’t support cars, or take a kayak.

Jason Ellis braved the water Tuesday on a trip across the creek to Vernick’s Country Corner convenience store.

"I can't put a lot of food or groceries in the kayak,” Ellis said. “If anything, I'll have to make a couple trips back and forth."

Ellis said his family has lived on the property for years, with the water rushing high over the bridge for the last month and a half.

Another person stranded was Sam Adkins, who took the four-wheeler path to Vernick’s Tuesday.

“These people really need some help,” he said.

Adkins said the high water is coming from the East Lynn Dam valves releasing floodwater from the lake.

Recent heavy rains have made the problem worse.

"If my mom, dad or some of my family gets sick, we can't get them out of here, can't get to the animals," Adkins said.

Ellis said he understands that the Army Corps of Engineers needs to regulate flood levels in the lake, but he hopes it can dial back the flow and give them a break.

“"I'm not hoping for a big bridge to help us. I just want a safe way across instead of relying on a boat in cold water," Ellis said.

Adkins, on the other hand, said he wants a new bridge higher than the one hidden under water.

Eyewitness News reached out to the Army Corps of Engineers to see when the valves would be back to a normal output, but its office was closed for the evening.

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