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Safety concerns prompt address changes

By Richard Rourk

Some residents in Unicoi received mailings this past week notifying them of a change of address.

Residents on Meadow Brook Drive in Unicoi received a notice in the mail informing them that their street number had changed by the addition of one number. 

“We had to add a zero to each street address,” explained Unicoi County 911 Executive Director Travis Chandler. “So if your address was 123 Meadow Brook Drive in Unicoi, it is now 1023 Meadow Brook Drive in Unicoi.”

Chandler explained that the changes of address are the result of a safety study. 

“This is a safety issue,” Chandler said. “There is a road in Erwin that has the same name and similar address numbers. The street numbers on Meadow Brook in Erwin, will remain the same. The addresses for the Meadow Brook in Erwin will remain three digits in length and the ones in Unicoi will now have four digits.”

The addition of the zero to the addresses on Meadow Brook Drive in Unicoi should help resolve any confusion between the identical streets. 

“Our dispatchers will know for sure which street the emergency is on now, even if a call drops before our dispatchers get the town information,” Chandler said. “It would cost approximately 20 minutes if we sent emergency crews to the wrong Meadow Brook. That amount of time could mean the difference between life and death.”

Chandler noted that residents of Meadow Brook Drive were notified by letters from Unicoi County 911 instructing them on what the changes mean. The letter informed residents that the U.S. Post Office has been notified and will begin forwarding mail to the new addresses and will do so for one year. He added that all residents affected by the address change are required to change their address on any legal documentation and identification cards.