Harrison County Road Impassable After Mudslide - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Harrison County Road Impassable After Mudslide

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Residents of Indian Run Road in Harrison County said a mudslide from nearly a month ago is dividing their community.

An entire mountain side made its way onto a road that leads them to work, to their neighbors' house, and to the downtown area.

"Large trees, a foot to foot and a half in diameter impaled in a mountain of mud, probably thousand of tons of material," said Chuck Lothes, a resident of Indian Run Road.

"I think it's the scope of this landslide that takes my breathe away," said Anne Romance, a resident of Indian Run Road. 

Lothes and Romance, among other nearby residents, fear that the impasse could put them in danger. 

"It's just too much of a danger and an extra burden. School, fire, medical. Businesses are located in this area," Lothes said. 

Neighbors also worry about those who are unfamiliar with the road and may not take the "Road Closed" signs seriously.  They said several visitors attempted to go around the slip, which in turn damaged one of the resident's property and put the driver in harms way.  

Greg Phillips with the Division of Highways said drivers should never attempt to go around a mudslide.  He said they are unpredictable and can cause harm in an instant. 

Phillips also said it will take at least a month before crews can begin work on the slip, a slip that he said is one of the worst in the area.  
 
"If you get ahead of the game, you can clean it up and then in a few months it's back. You have to let it quit working and the foundation is substantial enough to hold the roads up and the earth in," said Greg Phillips, director of the Division of Highways. 

Phillips said that FEMA may be involved in the cleanup efforts and help in funding the project. In addition, he said the restoration of the road and mountain slide could cost more than $2,000,000. 

Residents said they also wanted answers on what caused the slip.  Phillips said several years of heavy downpours played a role in the slip, and said it would be hard to prove that nearby construction projects had something to do with it.