FREEPORT – Residents of the two Freeport households whose private access road was rendered impassable by the Aug. 13 rainstorm are seeking assistance in raising the estimated $85,000 needed to repair the road.

Beth Toothaker and Mike Shea live in one of the homes on Turkey Ridge Lane, while Arleen Sigert-Young lives in the other. None have insurance to replace the dirt road and small bridge that traverses Allen Brook. Toothaker said on Aug. 20 that she is trying to secure a bank loan. Meanwhile, the town has posted a notice that anyone who wants to help can go to www.gofundme.com/d1i76c.

Toothaker also is hoping someone can donate gravel. Lots of it will be needed to rebuild the road.

Earl Gibson, superintendent of Freeport Public Works, said Monday that he has been in touch with Toothaker, and is keeping abreast of the situation.

“Nothing has been done,” Gibson said Monday. “I know that for a fact. They would have contacted the town and let us know.”

Shea said that Sigert-Young arranged for someone to lay down a shallow layer of fill, and someone dragged her car across to Fernald Road. But the fill is not deep enough to sustain a car, and Shea purchased a Polaris Ranger off-road vehicle so that he and Toothaker can get to their cars, parked at her mother’s home on Fernald Road, a quarter-mile away.

“Right now, the concern is propane,” Shea said. “Groceries aren’t so bad, because we have the Ranger.”

Shea and Toothaker also are running out of grain to feed their chickens and turkeys, The grain comes in big bags, and would be difficult to haul in on the Ranger, he said.

The nightmare for the residents of Turkey Ridge Lane started with rain on the day of Aug. 13, then hit a crescendo that night, when a deluge hit the state. Town officials have estimated damages to four roads at $100,000. Toothaker, who works the overnight shift as a nurse at Mercy Hospital, heard about the washout from her daughter, Eden Collins, who saw the damage at 7:30 Thursday morning. Toothaker had not returned yet from Portland.

“She drove her car there and parked at the top and saw that the road was gone,” Toothaker said.

Shea, who works in security, was in New Hampshire visiting his daughter.

“The force of that water was so great that it completely rebuilt the landscape,” Shea said. “There is a 6-foot hole in the clay. That’s pretty intense.”

Until Sigert-Young had the layer of fill laid down, the Turkey Lane residents were hiking through the woods because there was no way to get across the stream.

Toothaker has lived on Turkey Lane since 2003, when her parents gave her the property and she had the crossing built. It consists of 25 feet of gravel, she said.

“Half the gravel’s now down the stream,” Shea said. “If you look down the stream, you’ll see a beach.”

Toothaker said she also is talking with town officials regarding the possibility of connecting with an easement at Turkey Ridge, a housing development. She also needs her ex-husband to sign off on the loan request.

“But right now the property’s not worth anything without an access,” she said. “This is so trying to refinance my home, and I was struggling to begin with. (Mike) moved in to help me in the first place.”

Beth Toothaker and Mike Shea stand on the deck of their home at 16 Turkey Ridge Lane in Freeport. They, along with neighbor Arleen Sigert-Young, plan to share expenses to repair the road and small bridge that was washed away by the rainstorm of Aug. 13.  


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