Early morning mud slide forced traffic to one lane

DOH workers respond to a mudslide Thursday.

FAIRMONT — A slide on U.S. 250 Thursday in the Fairmont area created a headache for motorists.

Traffic was restricted to one lane in the area of the slide, located just past Muriale’s Italian Kitchen.

According to Marion County 911, the call for a slide of rocks and trees on the road came in at 5 a.m. When asked for comment, Brent Walker, director of communications for the West Virginia Department of Transportation, said the slide was “mostly mud and debris due to all the rain and ground saturation.”

“With continued rain and cold temperatures in the forecast, (Division of) Highways anticipates further movement and is placing temporary barrier wall to keep it out of the road,” he said.

Laura Price, an employee at Jeanie’s, located by the slide, said the slide seemed to snarl traffic.

“It’s hard for people to get in here because th4

Price said slides have happened before in that area.

She said if the problem would have been fixed “the right way a long time ago, they wouldn’t be doing it again and again.”

Marion County isn’t alone.

In a news release, the Department of Transportation said “the unrelenting rain continues to super-saturate roads and hillsides, causing flooding, road closures (due to high water), mudslides and rock falls.”

The department stated that as of Thursday afternoon, the Transportation Management Center reported 49 closures in almost every Highways District in the State.

“It is safe to say, we have our work cut out for us after the rains end,” stated Secretary of Transportation Byrd White in the news release. “Our crews continue to monitor and react to the affects and have worked tirelessly to do what they can during the event but, we sure could use a break in the weather.”

The news release states that “most recently, Fairview Addition Road (Williamson Community Southern College) along County 15 in Mingo County, was the site of a massive rock fall and remains closed while we actively break up the rock into movable pieces and removing them from the roadway. Also, in Mingo County, County3/4, Right Fork Laurel Creek, is closed due to a rock fall.”

“Other notable mudslides and rock falls include Route 4, near Frametown, and County 21, Frametown-Herold Road, in Braxton County. On Route 4, DOH has assessed the situation and surveyed the site using its drone technology,” the news release continues. “DOH geo-technical engineers are working on a plan and crews will continue to monitor that site. Cabell County reports 14 roads closed and Wood County shows 4 closures due to high water. Other Counties report multiple roads closed.”

The department stated that motorists are encouraged to slow down when conditions are less than perfect.

For traveler information and road conditions, people can go to WV511.org.

Eric Hrin can be reached at 304-367-2549, or ehrin@timeswv.com.

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