UPDATE: Massive Rockslide Shuts Down Route 3 in Raleigh County - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Massive Rockslide Shuts Down Route 3 in Raleigh County

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SUNDIAL -

A massive rockslide in Raleigh County, with boulders as big as houses, have shut down both lanes of Route 3 near Sundial.

Miraculously no one was injured. Drivers headed to and from Whitesville are being rerouted to Route 1. Naoma residents who live just feet away from the rockslide told 59News they thought an earthquake had just shook their homes.

"We were watching TV and all of a sudden we heard a big bang. It was nothing like what we've ever heard before, because we are used to the mining blast but this was totally different. We were scared to death that someone was under there," said Donna Hayes.

"What a big excitement! This is the most exciting that has ever happened to Coal River Road. What a big rock!" Raymond Johnson told us.

Many Naoma and Sundial residents use Route 3 on their daily commute to work and school.

"We use it every day, this is our daily path, our daily drive," Jerry Crum said.

Route 1 is the only alternate road available. Crum told us how much longer the detour makes his commute.

"It took us 45 minutes to an hour more to get to Whitesville this morning than it normally does because we had to go on Route 1," he said.

The Division of Highways estimates Route 3 to be closed down for at least a week while they build another road to be able to remove the rocks.

"They'll construct another road behind this slide. Then they'll build a ramp on the other side to bring in the drilling equipment and then they'll blast away," said Tom Camden, DOH.

Camden attributes this year's unseasonably wet weather as the cause for the rockslides we've seen.

"A lot of it has to do with freezing and thawing. This year we've seen a lot of rain. It's due to natural forces," he told us.

People in the area are taking a sigh of relief knowing the road they travel on the most will soon be safe.

"It's nice to get that one big piece out, that's one big piece we don't have to worry about. It was really hanging over. We don't have to worry about that anymore, they'll get that out," Crum said.

 

 


 

 

 

 

Drivers are dealing with headache on the roads Friday night after a massive rockslide hits Route 3 near Sundial in Raleigh County.

Images sent to us by viewers show large boulders blocking the roadway.

Emergency dispatchers said Coal River Fire Department and the Department of Highways are on the scene working.

Dispatchers said it could be some time before the roads open back up.