Water covering Winterville- Priscilla Road has been an issue for residents through heavy rains and floods the past several weeks.
Though the bridge on the western end of the road is open, while the bridge on the east end near North Broadway Extended is closed, resident Stephanie Parks said.
Thursday afternoon a Western Line school bus was transporting the last passenger on the route, when the driver was unable to maintain position on the water-covered roadway.
There were no injuries and the Washington County Sheriff Department responded to the incident.
Park said the flooded road is a complex issue.
“The federal government mandates the bridges be closed, and if the county doesn’t adhere then funding for projects could be lost,” Parks said, noting she has spoken with Washington County Board of Supervisor president Carl McGee.
“I know he has done what he can do and they are looking into ways to address the issue,” Parks said, noting four households are affected by the flooding.
“I’m not blaming them, but when it comes to the matter of adhering to requirements that come from the federal government down through to the highway department or people’s lives, I think the lives should be the priority,” she continued.
Park said school buses should not be traversing the road in the current condition and resolving the issue for safe access during medical emergencies is an issue that should be addressed soon.
When the road was flooded in prior years, response to a medical incident was affected, Park said.
“It took the coroner several hours to arrive to pronounce the person deceased. It was not the fault of anyone that it took so long, but it is an issue that is very concerning,” Parks said.
County Engineer Mark Hooker Sr. said adhering to requirements can sometimes be complex.
“We update the state when we complete a project or we close a road or bridge, but sometimes that information is not getting through and it comes back to us asking us to do things we have already done,” Hooker said.