Mayor of North Carolina town walking to DC to save hospital

Associated Press image of the capitol in Washington D.C.

The mayor of Belhaven is planning to walk to Washington, D.C., in hopes of saving a local hospital.

WNCT-TV in Greenville reports Mayor Adam O'Neal is planning the walk in an effort to save Vidant Pungo Hospital. On July 1, Vidant Pungo closed, leaving residents of Hyde and eastern Beaufort County without a hospital or emergency room.

O'Neal said Friday that he will start his walk on Monday. He said his decision to make the walk is an illustration of how serious the problem is.

Belhaven is 314 miles south of Washington. By car, it's a 6-hour, 8-minute drive.

Once in Washington, O'Neal says he wants to speak with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama about the hospital shutdown.