KINGWOOD, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Highways, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are currently assessing the damage to roads in Preston County.
Most of the damage was found in the southeastern part of the county.
“What we are seeing are a lot of washouts where the road has been, the surface of the road has been washed away. We’ve got culverts that have been compromised, have been brought up out of the ground. We have bridge structures where the embankment protection has washed away and exposed the structure of the bridge. There’s a lot of different types of damage that we’re seeing, but most of it is surface damage,” said Earl Gaskins with the WV Division of Highways.
Some crews were pulled off of the routine maintenance plan to focus on the flood damage.
“Routine maintenance will consist of ditching, mowing, patching, that kind of stuff. So that’s something that’s always going on that we try to keep a consistent schedule of. Unfortunately, you get a FEMA bit like this where there’s damages obviously the priority shifts over to the damages,” said Gaskins.
Some of the areas damaged include Brookside Road and Fox Run Road.
“If you see a damaged area, if you see a road closed, don’t chance it, because there is a reason, you know, something structurally wrong with that roadway, so don’t ignore the roads signs. Drive careful and take your time if you have to go somewhere because the damage may be underneath the surface that you don’t see,” said Gaskins.
If the road damage is deemed an emergency after FEMA assesses the situation, the road projects will be reimbursed. It is declared an emergency when damages reach a certain dollar amount.
If you see flood damage in the county, contact the local DOH to report the issue.