MCDOWELL COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — For most of the past week, countless people across McDowell County spent their days repairing their homes and communities and gathering necessary resources.

But there are those who lost their connection to the county for a short time.

A handful of families live in Sandy Huff, just outside of Iaeger in McDowell County. A dirt road on top of a storm drain pipe is the only way to and from this corner of the county.

“I’m afraid cause if there is a flood and washes the pipes out I might need the rescue squad or the lady might need one, and how are we going to get to the hospital how are we gonna get across that,” said Brenda Coleman, who has lived in the holler all of her life.

A fear once again realized, as heavy rain and high water quickly turned their roadway into a canal. Coleman said this is not the first time they were cut off and recounts several other instances in the past five years.

“We have always had issues with the drain pipe and no one will do nothing cause it is a private road, why that is I don’t know,” said Coleman.

According to the McDowell County commission, the responsibility to maintain the road falls to the Diversified Energy company, which uses the private road to reach gas wells deep in the holler. Diversified repaired the roadway the next day, but residents say it is nothing more than a short term fix they have seen before.

“It really makes me feel like they don’t care about us on this side of the creek you know, I mean we need help on this side of the creek just like the other side,” said Coleman.

Both residents and officials believe a more permanent and serious response is needed for a life or death issue for those who live there.

“Its a bad situation for those folks and its a reoccuring problem, probably the best solution, in my opinion is there needs to be a bridge there,” said Michael Brooks, a McDowell County Commissioner.

Brooks works closely with Diversified and those who live there to fix the problem. He believes this situation speaks to a bigger problem across southern West Virginia. A problem he believes the state needs to take more responsibility of.

“I think we need a bigger response, I feel, on a state level to reach out these people to be able to help them, they have the equipment, they have the man power that could make these repairs happen, in my opinion, fairly easy and fast,” said Brooks.

A call for help, in need of an answer.