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‘We were definitely a little shocked’: Va. family stranded after driveway washes away overnight

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 4:58 PM EDT
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HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - A Hanover County family is basically stranded in their home due to severe weather overnight.

The long rocky driveway leading to the Williams family’s home washed away overnight, leaving gaping holes in the ground.

“Everything was fine last night,” said Anna Williams.

The steady flow of a creek nearby surrounded by wilderness is what drew the Williams out to rural Hanover County. However, that serenity quickly changed overnight.

“We were definitely a little shocked,” Williams said. “My husband was on his way to work and got to this part of the driveway and called me and said it’s not happening.”

Williams spoke with NBC12 by phone from across the nearly 10-yard gap. The first-time homeowners are now basically stranded from the rest of Montpelier.

“It feels a little isolated - we’re on our own little island right now,” Williams said.

Isolated but not really alone. Williams posted to Facebook asking for help on how to fix the problem.

“What do we do?!? We have no idea who to even call or what to do and I am pregnant with two children and my husband can’t get to work and I’m worried about an emergency,” she wrote. “Can someone please advise us what to do?

Responses poured in.

“We had a lot of neighbors and really awesome people who helped us and gave us different phone numbers to call and contractors to try,” Williams said.

However, a solution is not that simple. Part of the driveway that leads to the home is not technically their property.

“So we have two neighbors that own a small portion here and then another family that owns from I guess here to our property,” Williams said.

While there are a lot of logistics involved, a contracting crew was able to make it out to assess the damage Friday morning. However, repair work may not happen right away.

“With it being Fourth of July weekend and everyone taking the weekend off, I think they were having a little issue finding trucks [and supplies],” Williams said.

There is a partial footbridge nearby which could get the family out on foot, but their cars are still trapped.

Meanwhile, the family of four - with another little one on the way - is trying to stay optimistic and thankful for all the help they have received thus far.

“I was surprisingly shocked by the amount of love that we received,” Williams said. “Now I know we picked the right place to live.”

The Williams do have family to stay with as repair work is done on the washed-out driveway.

Meanwhile, the damage was seen elsewhere in metro-Richmond. A lightning strike started a fire at a Richmond home Thursday evening.

Chesterfield first responders were also called to a downed powerline that sparked a fire Friday morning.

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