The long-standing detour at mile 15 of the Silver Comet Trail is no more. Paulding County removed the barricades and re-opened a 1,400 foot section of the trail near Weddington Road and milepost 15 the week of February 26th.
It seems like a decade since the colossal rainstorm of September 21, 2009 stopped and stayed over southeastern central Paulding County for hours, dropping as much as 19 inches of rain in a 24 hour period in some areas. The epicenter of this historic storm that flooded hundreds of homes and took out highway bridges in three counties, was centered over south central Paulding County. The embankment near Weddington Road where the trail is approximately a hundred feet above the surrounding forest failed under the torrent of water, sending trees, mud, and rocks onto Weddington Road and into the valley below. The failure of the banks left the trail precariously perched atop the embankment with eroded, near vertical cliffs on either side. The County immediately closed the trail while assessments took place.
The trail remained closed at mile 15 for several weeks until temporary fencing and warning signs could be erected along each side of the trail. In some places, the failed bank was less than ten feet from the trail. Paulding re-opened the trail after engineering assessments and fencing was completed.
The County sought federal disaster relief to help restore the embankment. Ultimately, the County received aid that required local participation. All-in-all the repair cost exceeded $1,500,000.
Thanks to Paulding County for staying with this effort and defending the need to restore the trail. It was a long ordeal that required perseverance. Thank you for patiently waiting for the detour to disappear.