RINCON, Ga. (WSAV) – A persisting problem for some residents of the Picket Fence development rears its head again.
The only entrance in and out of the neighborhood is once again blocked by a stopped train, reportedly twice in the past two weeks.
On the night of Friday, July 28, some Picket Fence residents tell News 3 the train stopped for a long time, forcing one homeowner, Brandy Riley, to stay overnight at a friend’s house because she couldn’t get to her house.
“We don’t have a second entrance. Emergency personnel can’t get through when that happens, and the city of Rincon has repeatedly failed this neighborhood with this issue,” says Riley.
It’s the first time some residents have had this problem in four months, since a train stopped for hours blocking the entrance, but now they are making demands from the city for it to be the last.
“We just want access,” says resident Chris Stevens, “We want a secondary access so that emergency vehicles can get in, so we can get out, so our kids can get to school.”
The City of Rincon has set aside $750k of TPLOST funds to build an alternative entrance to the neighborhood, something some residents have been begging for. They say they’ve seen no progress from the city as the issue persists.
“No action has been taken. the City of Rincon basically does not want to discuss it at city council meetings anymore,” says Riley.
Riley says she fears for her safety and that of her neighbors if an emergency occurs while a train is blocking the neighborhood entrance.
“If a train were to derail in this location, this neighborhood is completely trapped,” says Riley, “If there were a chemical problem, we can’t get out; the only way would be maybe walking through the woods to get away from that, but then it might too late, but emergency personnel cannot get to us. The only option would be to get us out of here.”
The blockages are not an issue for all Picket Fence residents, like one News 3 spoke with who wishes to remain anonymous, who says the blockages are scarce enough where they don’t bother him, and that the city has been helpful.
“It doesn’t bother me done bit,” he says, “The police have been great. Jonathan Murrell, the chief of police of Rincon, has always made sure that we have transportation to and from, we have EMS, we have fire, we have first responders, we have police escorts if needed. They have been on top of every time there has been a situation, the police of been here to help.”
News 3 has spoken with Rincon’s City Manager, Jonathan Lynn, who said in March that the blockages are an issue the city has been actively working on and that the city is close to reaching a solution.
News 3 reached out to Lynn on Aug. 1 for a comment, but have not yet received a response.