ELKVIEW, WV (WOWK) – With the wild weather lately and rain on the way, some people are concerned about more rock slides and mud slides. For people in Elkview it is a threat that is all too familiar.
“We couldn’t get in. We couldn’t get out,” said Violet Estep. It is a situation Estep finds herself in more often than she’d like. A slide along Blue Creek has become a frequent concern for Estep and her community.
“You don’t know when you go through there if that mountain is going to come down, a little at a time or a tree is going to break loose and hit you before you get through that area,” she said.
There have been multiple slides there over the past few years, leaving hundreds of people stranded and cutoff from emergency services.
“I have a handicapped daughter as well that if something would have happened that I needed an emergency unit, I couldn’t have got her out of here,” Estep said.
This month, the Kanawha County Commission issued a Notice of Violation to the parties they say are responsible for the recurring slides, including the property owner and Columbia Gas Transmission which operates gas wells in the area of the slides.
“These boulders are eventually going to hurt or kill somebody, so it had to be done,” said Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper. He said Columbia Gas recently filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to abandon operations there. Carper said the Kanawha County Commission intends to object to the application.
“That place is a disaster waiting to kill someone and we have to get it done. We have to get this fixed,” Carper said.
A spokesperson for Columbia Gas provided this statement:
“We’re planning to plug and abandon a few natural gas storage wells and lines out of several in operation in the area. We’re committed to continuing maintenance in areas where we operate.”
We have not been able to reach the property owner for comment.