Letcher County crews work to save temporary bridge from washout

A Letcher County backhoe removes a large log from a drain tile in the temporary bridge at Perkins Branch in the Jeremiah community.

Crews in Letcher County worked Monday evening and Tuesday morning to save a temporary bridge across Rockhouse Creek.

Rainy weather Monday into Tuesday morning brought debris and high water down Rockhouse Creek and up against the temporary crossing into Perkins Branch in the Jeremiah community of Letcher County. Portions of the structure began to fail, but the crossing was saved by county crews who removed debris from drain tiles, allowing water to flow freely.

Letcher Judge-Executive Jim Ward said crews worked until midnight and after to clear the debris and repair the washed out portions of the temporary bridge.

Perkins Branch was the site of a bridge collapse in March that stranded dozens of people in their community. The temporary crossing was installed days later, and itself washed out just weeks after the bridge collapse. It was re-installed shortly after and has since provided access to Perkins Branch.

The new Perkins Branch Bridge is set to be installed soon. Ward said he had hoped to have the new bridge installed before wet weather, such as what the region has experienced of late, had set in.

Portions of the bridge have already been delivered to the site, and Ward said the bridge will be constructed after drilling is done to install supports.

Ward commended county crews for their work in preserving the temporary crossing.

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