By Jean A. Flanagan
When Dave Judy heard South Fork Road was going to be closed “indefinitely,” he called the Hardy County Division of Highways office. That was on Wednesday, July 18. “We were told it’s in the legal office in Charleston,” Judy said. “We could not stand that. We have feed deliveries that come from Harrisonburg. We have workers that come from Harrisonburg and Pendleton County. It would be a major hardship for the people that live there.”
Two days later, Judy, representing George Judy and Judy’s Poultry Farm, filed a petition for a Writ of Mandamus, asking the court to compel the DOH to open South Fork Road.
Judy’s petition was heard in Hardy County Circuit Court on Tuesday, July 31.
South Fork Road, Hardy County Route 7, had been closed to vehicular traffic since June 23. After weeks of heavy rain, part of the hillside, including dirt, trees and rocks, slid onto the road just north of the Hardy/Pendleton county line. Initially, DOH personnel monitored both sides of the slide, so vehicles would not pass. On July 18, the decision was made to close the road.
Following Judy’s court action, a series of events led to the opening of one lane of County Route 7.
“We’re not too lazy to remove the obstacles,” said West Virginia Assistant Attorney General David Gilbert, representing the DOH. “We just want to keep the boulders from coming down on cars.”