Access still hindered for Paloma Trail residents - Tucson News Now

Access still hindered for Paloma Trail residents

COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Imagine being stranded in your home for weeks, with no access to food or emergency services; that is what's happening tonight for more than a hundred people in Palominas.  It all started with a monsoon storm washing out the road leading into their community.

For two weeks residents in this housing area have been asking for help and Tucson News Now headed back to find out what county officials are doing about it.

Every rainfall brings a flood of concerns to the community, which right now has only a crumbling walkway leading to their community, only a portion of the road that once led into the housing area.

The force of the water literally broke that heavy concrete into pieces.  The road is not maintained by Cochise County, it is the homeowner's responsibility to fix the road, which could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"Nobody has that kind of money," stated Robert Schumacher a resident in the stranded community. "We're living paycheck to paycheck as it is."

County officials say there are hundreds of communities like this one in Cochise County, they are unplanned subdivisions and it is up to the homeowners to maintain their own roads; something the residents should have kept in mind when moving into the area.

"I came from California so I didn't know anything," said Paloma Trail resident Marie Boston. "They did mention there was a wash to me that's a ditch I had no idea."  Boston also mentioned that she was aware the roads were resident's responsibility.  "I had no idea what that entailed."

Residents have used a grader to create this temporary road across the wash, but they worry it too will be washed away in the next big storm. 

One of the big concerns tonight, no access to fire or sheriff's officials, in case of an emergency. 

A sheriff's spokesperson told Tucson News Now that if deputies need to get out to the community, they can get permission from local ranchers and get access through private land. County officials also stated that in case of an emergency, helicopters would be able to land in the housing area, but if an ambulance or fire truck is needed it could be a long wait. 

County officials have also told Tucson News Now that they are continuing to look for state grants out there that can help in a situation like this one.  Tucson News Now also learned the local  conservation district plans to conduct a study in the area, but all that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take time. 

Right now the residents living here have to come up with their own solution.

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