Stuck in a rut

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

CARTWRIGHT, Okla. -- Some Cartwright residents literally stuck in a rut. The road to their homes is flooded, and they are having difficulty with the detour.

Travel down Willifa Woods road is a no-go these days, as high water make the road impassable. For the hundreds of residents that live on the other side, they say the quickest way home is down Thousand Oaks Road.

Sheriff’s officials say Bryan County owns part of the road, but not the entire strip. The owner of another portion of the road, C.R. Reeve, installed a fence and a ditch to keep folks from driving through.

"It's paved, it's not like we're interfering in anybody's life, there's no speeding, nothing going down the road, just trying to drive through to get home," said Willetta Huff. Huff lives on the other side of Willifa Woods road, and was protesting the blockade on Friday afternoon.
KXII-TV tried to contact Reeve, but our calls were not returned.

"It's not like we flooded our roads out, they could help us out some," said Kathy Pace, another resident protesting the blockade.

Residents hold signs at the intersection, saying the alternate site, Sand Creek Road, is too dangerous to travel. One of the main concern residents have is emergency vehicles may not have enough time to access homes going down this road. Pace’s mother has cancer, and her son has disabilities. She fears it would take too long for paramedics to come to their aide in an emergency.

We measured the difference in travel time down both roads. It took about six minutes to travel the 2.5 miles down Sand Creek Road. It took two minutes to drive less than one mile down Thousand Oaks, the blocked road.

County Commissioners also say they are looking at the situation to find a solution that works best for everyone. Residents feel they are all-but stranded until that solution comes.

Sheriff Bill Sturch says since Thousand Oaks is a private road, they can't force anyone to move the fence.


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