MASON COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — All the rain and thunderstorms our region is getting hit with are causing some devastating effects to the local roads.
Local officials say we may continue to see problems pop up as the ground soaks up the water.
In Mason County, this proved true Thursday.
“This caught us off guard if you will. Anything that might’ve been hidden as a danger is now shown to light,” says Matt Gregg, director of the Mason County Office of Emergency Services.
That’s exactly what happened on Route 2 in the county when the heavy rains washed the road out from underneath.
“Mason County received several inches of rain, estimating between three and four inches of rain over the last about 18 to 20 hours and it appears that the hill that had a minor slip already gave out the rest of the way,” Gregg says.
Thanks to a fast response by the Flatrock Volunteer Fire Department around five in the morning, there were no accidents and the area was secured.
However, neighbors close to the road slip say this isn’t a new phenomenon for the area.
“They just got that slip fixed this summer. It was down for three years. I had one-way traffic here stopping at my house. They put a stoplight there. They fixed it and they worked hard so I thought they did a good job but something happened, and now we’ve got another slip. It makes me nervous you never know what might happen, yes,” says Geneva Durst of Mason County.
County officials say just because the rain is beginning to let up doesn’t mean more road slips can’t happen in the area in the future.
“Just because the heavy part of the rain is done doesn’t mean the ground has absorbed all the water or shed all the water. What you think may be a pothole full of water, could be something like this. Any kind of water, they need to avoid,” Gregg says.
Those who have already been out driving in the downpour agree:
“If the ground’s deteriorating away and washing away from all the rain, or what’s going on there, but it’s pretty dangerous. Keep your eyes open and watch for those cause they’ll sneak up on ya,” says Michael Phoenix of Mason County.
Emergency service officials urge—if you see a road slip happen or find one on your driving route, get somewhere safe and call your local non-emergency number for the 9-1-1 center or the Department of Highways so it can be dealt with quickly and safely.