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Local mother says mudslide left her family homeless

Pictured is what remains of a landslide that recently damaged a Unicoi County home. (Contributed photo)

By Richard Rourk

One Unicoi County family was reportedly left homeless following recent flooding which triggered a mudslide through their residence.

Holly Apple and her daughter, Nicole Ferri, had to be rescued following the flooding.

“The Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department, Southside Volunteer Fire Department and the Unicoi County Search and Rescue jumped into action to rescue my daughter, our dogs and myself after the floods washed us out,” Apple told The Erwin Record.

For Apple, the loss could not have happened at a worse time.

“I have multiple sclerosis and have recently had to help take care of a dear friend who was at the end of her life,” Apple said. “After the mudslide I helped care for my friend and they have since passed away.”

Recently, Unicoi County officials have run into trouble working on private land due to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. EPA has regulations that prevent the Unicoi County Highway Department from resolving the long term flooding issue in the county. “Our hands are tied,” Unicoi County Road Superintendent Terry Haynes said. “The Unicoi County Commission, Mayor (Garland “Bubba”) Evely and myself will continue to work on a solution.”

Apple has recently received some help from Harris Excavation and Construction but she still has concerns.

“Mr. Harris has been able to clear out the drive,” Apple said. “That land is still very unsteady and I don’t know what we are going to do next.”

There has been a GoFundMe page set up for Apple and her family and, according to her, anything will help.

“We appreciate everything everyone is doing during this time,” Apple said. “We are just devastated and of course our home insurance did not cover this.”

If you are interested in helping the Apple family, please visit gofundme.com/f/mudslide-destruction-evacuation to make a contribution.