Decades of bridge floods continue to cause concerns for Giles family while they look for answers

GILES COUNTY, Va. – The Poe-Trivett family has lived in Giles since the 1980s, and since they have moved there, if a storm comes through, they have the chance of being stranded at, or away, from home.

“This has happened for years and years—decades,” said Christen Poe, who owns a house on the property.

They said for years, they have worked to try and get the Virginia Department of Transportation to improve the bridge, but have seen little results.

On May 18, after heavy rainfall, they had had enough. The Poe family’s two sons were unable to get home after prom because of how flooded the bridge was.

“They were just frustrated,” said Christen Poe. “One was worried about his dog and wanted to come home and they’ve been writing me all morning. I mean they’re hanging out in their tux that they wore to prom and are not able to come home.”

While it may be a regular occurrence for this family, they said it worries them in case an emergency was to happen.

“I think we are the only property in the county that has one of these low-water bridges that doesn’t have an alternate route out,” said Ben Poe.

I reached out to officials with Giles County and said they are aware of the situation and are working with VDOT to identify potential funding sources.

They said they previously submitted an application for a state grant and it was not awarded.

I also reached out to VDOT and they said they were looking into this issue and needed to gather more information before commenting.

I also requested bridge safety and bridge inspection reports and was told those reports won’t be released.

The Poe family said this land has been in their family for decades. They said they are worried when their kids inherit the land, instead of dealing with the hassle every time a big storm comes through, they will just sell the land.

About the Author

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.

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