Warren County Family Cut Off From Community

WARREN COUNTY, Va. (WHSV)-- Steve and Michaelene Pratscher are blaming the damage to their driveway on the railroad. The Warren County family has been cut off from entering their house by a gaping hole caused by this month's flooding.

"Someone's going to get killed or really injured, and it's going to be, 'I'm sorry. It's private property.' We've been trying for help," said Michaelene Pratscher.

She says the hole in her driveway has been there since the floods earlier this month.

The Pratschers blame Norfolk Southern for the mess.

"We've been flooded on and off with the railroad ever since we bought this property," said Steve Pratscher.

The couple said that the major hole created in their driveway, which is the only way to and from their house, was created when water backed up the stream from a culvert running under the Norfolk Southern railway.

The Pratschers have been working with the railroad for about three years to fix the problem and are fed up.

"When the water floods and it backs up, it not only affects us, but it also affects our neighbors," said Steve Pratscher.

Norfolk Southern says it is aware of the problem, and they're working to fix the culvert.

"Our engineering department is engineering a new culvert. They say from start to finish, it would take about four to five months," said Robin Chapman, a spokesperson for Norfolk Southern.

Chapman also said that they're working to figure out if they have to pay the family for any of the damage.

The work is scheduled for this year, however, that's not soon enough for this family, which has been cut off from fire, rescue, and other vital services.

"It's really taken a toll on us all," said Michaelene Pratscher.

The Pratschers hope they can get help from someone soon.

If you've got a problem with the railroad, you can call Norfolk Southern at 1-800-453-2530.


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