MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Heavy rain can cause a lot of things in the Mountain State – flooding, rising creeks and streams, as well as impassable roads.
One of the most dangerous effects of heavy rain occurred in Morgantown Monday on Monongahela Boulevard and that is: a rockslide.
So what exactly is a rockslide?
A rockslide is a type of landslide caused by the failure and collapse of the rock plane.
Rockslides can be caused by multiple things.
Rockslides can be caused by erosion of land, gravity, downward and outward pressure, as well as heavy rainfall.
We have seen plenty of rain come down in Morgantown over the first 12 days of February.
Over 2.5 inches of rain has fallen in the University City as of Wednesday; this is more than double the average rainfall that is supposed to be seen through the first 12 days of the second month.
Heavy rain softens the soil surrounding the rocks.
The softened soil is due to the ground’s inability to hold any more rain. This has occurred in areas of steep terrain.
Boulders then can slip free and go downhill being pushed by gravity.
Lots of runoff due to an excess of paved roads also may contribute to the rockslide.