BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – After this week’s flooding in Fayette County and parts of Kanawha County, the West Virginia Division of Highways is working hard through what they are calling ‘mud soup’ to clear roads and provide repairs to flood damage.

WVDOH crews are working to open roads, clear mudslides, repair drainage structures and help flood damaged areas recover after excessive rainfall on August 15, 2022. Governor Jim Justice declared a State of Emergency for Fayette and Kanawha Counties.    

“Our crews in the Cannelton Hollow Road area in Smithers are working to get access for people, and to get to areas where repairs are needed. What they’re running into is a soupy material.  The area is so saturated that, as they’re clearing away the debris, it’s like working through mud soup.”

Jim Moore, P.E., District 9 Engineer

As of this morning, August 16 2022, a bridge on Carbon Dale Road serving ten people who lived in the area was washed out. WVDOH crews were removing debris from the area and beginning work on a temporary bridge to provide access to the families, as the bridge is the only way in or out.

Clean up of WV 16 also continues. Crews working on West Virginia 16 were able to get a lane open for emergency vehicles.  Crews continued working until dark, with the road still blocked.  At dark, with “soupy material” still coming down the hillside, crew leaders determined it was unsafe to continue and crews resumed working at daylight.

Crews were also on the ground at Scrabble Creek Road, near Gauley Bridge, working to assess the extent of significant damages and begin repairs.

“Our crews are working in dangerous situations. This is difficult work and their hearts are in it. In each area, there are different challenges, high water, rocks coming down. We’re going to keep at it and work together to get the roads reopened and damage repaired and do so as quickly as possible.” 

Alan Reed, P.E., State Highway Engineer

The August 15 rainfall was one of several events which caused damage to roads, culverts and bridges in the area.  Crews continue to work to repair damage from earlier rain events throughout the region.

“Any time you have high water, we remind drivers to turn around. We’ve seen the type of damage these high water events can cause. Put your health and safety first.  We’re West Virginian’s, we will help each other and that’s what it takes.  We’ll get it cleaned up and repaired, but we can’t replace a life, so please be aware when you see high water.” 

Joe Pack, P.E., Deputy State Highway Engineer

West Virginia Division of Highways will keep the public informed as the clean up continues, and damage from the storms is repaired.