Rome Avenue Inaccessible
Written by Jerry Durgan, Staff Reporter   

At about 9:30 Friday morning, The Advertizer-Herald received a call from Shirley Kemp about the deplorable condition of the dirt road and about access to her home on Rome Avenue.

“I can’t get into and out of my home because of all of the water in my yard. It’s terrible,” she commented.

Driving out in a light drizzle Friday morning, a reporter for The Advertizer-Herald stopped on the muddy dirt road to find that Ms. Kemp’s drive was, indeed, flooded, severely so. An acre or more of ankle-deep water. After taking a few photographs, he attempted to back out of the road and slid right into a deep ditch on the right side of the road.

Unable to extricate himself, he walked over to a neighbor’s home to call for towing. Annie and “Boot” Hampton invited him in, muddy shoes and all, extremely gracious and helpful. That’s the God-loving kind of neighbors to have.

Before he could locate anyone, a big yellow dump truck and trailer, loaded with a big, yellow front end/back hoe pulled up. It was a part of the county’s road maintenance crew arriving to clear the drain to allow rainwater to flow out of the flooded area. Within 40 minutes, the drain pipe was cleared, the water began draining, and the two gentlemen, John Johnson and Matt Johnson, had pulled the reporter out of a very sticky situation. “The problem here is that the drain is small and it clogs easily with debris and mud,” they explained.

The Bamberg county road crew was able to get the reporter out of the ditch. But something needs to be done to rectify the situation for the residents that live on that part of Rome Avenue. Mr. and Mrs. Hampton are elderly. She’s in a wheelchair. The situation is extremely dangerous for them and for Shirley and all of the people that live on that end of the street. If a fire truck or EMS had to come there when the situation was as bad as it was last Friday, someone could die or be seriously injured, or a home could be leveled to the ground. It’s a very dangerous situation. “We need to have something done, and soon,” Ms. Hampton said.