After receiving a FEMA grant in the amount of $25,000, work on Gap Branch in Lynch is nearing completion.
“Back in February and March of this year, when we had all that snow and rain, Gap Branch filled with water — it had a lot of run off, and it collapsed a retaining wall allowing debris to fall into the creek and hinder the normal flow of the water,” said Mayor John Adams. “We applied for a FEMA grant and was awarded $25,000 to make repairs.”
The city hired Monty Mullins, of Letcher County, when he came in with the lowest bid for the project.
“Mr. Mullins is putting in gabion baskets in an area approximately 100 feet long and eight feet high,” said Adams. “There are about seven or eight homes on this back street in Gap Branch alongside the creek. The collapse of the old gabion baskets, rocks and rubble posed a threat for flooding when all this debris fell into the stream. It could have caused the water to dam up and flow into the back alley, homes and yards in that area.”
Adams said the city has a main water line in the same area that posed a threat of breaking with this collapse.
“When this happened, it washed out where the water line was,” said Adams. “Without support for this line, it could have busted and interrupted water service for approximately 60 families.”
Work is expected to be completed by early next week Adams said.
“We are very appreciative of FEMA for the grant funds they awarded our city,” Adams added.
Another project currently on hold in the city is a proposed campground, which will be located on seven acres above Liberty Street.
“Some work has been done, but at this point the project is at a standstill,” said Adams. “We had hoped to receive funds from a recent TAP grant received in the Tri-City area, but that didn’t pan out. Now, we are waiting to see if we will receive funding through a TIGER grant that has not yet been approved. We are also talking with Appalachian Wireless, who wants to install a cell tower in the city, asking for their help in completing our campground project. We are still waiting to hear from that also.”
When completed, Adams said the campground will host primitive camping, a few small cabins, a wash house and bathrooms.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde