By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer
When this weekend’s rain set in, Madison County EMA Director Carl Richards and CSEPP Director Michael Bryant tried to guess when the mudslide on Tates Creek Road would occur. It happened at 7 p.m. Sunday.
“This is the fourth time I’ve been down there in the past two years,” said Bryant, who oversees the county’s Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program. “The first time was during the May 2010 flooding.”
The mudslide shut down one lane along KY 169 near 2057 Tates Creek Road.
Members of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Richmond Fire Department were on the scene at about 8 a.m. Monday to help clean up the scene and both lanes were re-opened by Monday afternoon, Bryant said. The event called for a four- to five-hour cleanup, he said.
Members of the Madison County Fire Department also helped with cleanup efforts.
The reason as to why the mudslide keeps reoccurring is not concrete, but Bryant has an idea.
“I think one of the reasons is that someone cut a road up in there and that destabilized the hillside,” he said.
The answer “is not going to be cheap,” Bryant said.
Richards, who oversees Madison County’s Emergency Manage-ment Agency, spoke of the previous mudslide late last year during a December 2012 fiscal court meeting.
“It’s just a matter of time,” Richards said. “At some point, it could hurt someone. It usually happens a day or a day-and-a-half after a good rain. It’s always going to be an issue until we get someone from the state to do something.”
Sen. Jared Carpenter attended the meeting and said he would take the information to Frankfort for consideration.
“A previous property owner proceeded to construct a driveway up the hill and flatten out a site for the placement of a manufactured home,” said Madison County Planning and Zoning Director Duane Curry.
“We were not aware of the work being done on the property until a request was made for a permit to place a home on the site.”
According to the county’s requirements and the State Residential Code, the slope of the property prevents a structure from being placed there without some special engineering design work to prevent this type of issue from occurring, Curry said.
“It is my understanding the property has sold and is now in the hands of a new owner who inherits a major problem,” he said. “It is my intention to notify the current property owner to schedule a meeting between this office and Carl Richards’ office and discuss a plan of action to prevent this from continuing.”
Ronica Shannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6608.