Emergency officials continue recovery work near Harman


HARMAN, W.Va. – The Harman Senior Center remains the hub of activity in the town, with supplies coming in and out, and crews stopping in to grab some food before going back out to help with the cleanup.

But, Friday’s big worry is the condition of a nearby dam. A breach there earlier this week contributed to the first round of flooding, and officials said they are hoping it will not let go again.

“We went up to the dam last night, had an engineer to look at it, and he’s confirmed that it could be a problem, but they’re going to start pumping water out of it, I believe today, and start pulling the pressure down off of it a little bit. But, to me, I don’t think there’s a hazard there,” said Harman Mayor Jerry Teter.

The National Guard sent a unit to the pond to start alleviating some of that pressure by pumping water out and keeping the pond at a certain level. But, at 26 feet deep, there’s still a lot of water to keep in. Guard officers said there’s no immediate cause for concern, but area residents will know if the time comes to take action.

“As of right now, their local officials will put anything out if anything changes, and just monitor your local networks and pay attention to what they have to say,” said Sgt. Wesley Williamson, with the WV National Guard.

Rain in the area certainly is not helping. Storms earlier this week have already damaged the fire department fleet. Teter said the area is well protected still with the help of other nearby departments, so for now, they are just waiting to see what the next step will be.

“There is more rain coming for this afternoon and tomorrow, so we just have to watch the streams. If we have to get people out, we’ll just get them out,” Teter said.

Flooding concerns dampened the town spirit on Thursday, but it still cannot wash out the town’s patriotic spirit for the 4th of July. Mayor Teter said the fireworks canceled on July 4 have been rescheduled for 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 13.

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