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CUMBERLAND GAP (WATE) - A Claiborne County man in failing health is trapped at home after recent flood waters washed away the bridge to his property.
Joe England lives in a rural area of Claiborne County near Cumberland Gap.
All of Claiborne County was hit hard by the flood so England and his family may have to wait for help.
England lives alone. His daughter, Kathy, and eight-year-old great granddaughter live next door.
Gap Creek runs in front of their homes, but flooding recently turned the creek into a roaring river that washed away the England's bridge. It was the only way to reach their homes.
"It went down the creek about 300 feet," said England.
He and his daughter have been using a fishing boat to get back and forth because their cars are trapped, too.
"Yeah, we are stuck," said Joe. "The only way in and out is that boat, can't get a car out."
The 79-year- old former Army private is epileptic, has two bad knees and an artificial hip.
He says it's painful to get in and out of the boat. "Physically it's hard, but we'll make it some way. We'll make it some way, never have failed. I know they'll be somebody help us."
The Englands say they can't afford to rebuild the bridge themselves.
However, "That bridge can be put back in place," Kathy England said. "Someone with a crane can put that bridge back in place. It's totally intact, but I'm not able to get a hold of that bridge and no one else has offered to help."
Now that the water has receded, there is another way across Gap Creek. Kathy said she tied a rope to trees on either side, and used it to hold onto. She waded in waist deep water back and forth carrying bottles of water delivered by the Red Cross.
"We're just living day by day right now," Kathy said. "Actually I've got to get my neighbor to take me to the grocery store and pick some groceries up today or tomorrow one."
"I hope that FEMA comes in and helps us," added Joe.
If not, he'll have to make the painful trip across in the boat again and again. "Well it hurts awful bad, but it's the only way I got."
The Englands have applied for FEMA help, but were denied because the area has not yet been declared a disaster.
Claiborne County officials are working to get a disaster declaration. The emergency management director says he checked with the military to see if a temporary military bridge could be brought in, but he's had no luck.