Around 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, the mountain slid in and blocked the Madison Creek road. Residents are once again isolated, but this time, they are being given the option to evacuate.
That is for the residents who are at home, the ones who are not at home, it’s another story.
Jennifer Smith’s husband Albert is blocked again on the wrong side of the slide. Friday, he was out and had to spend the night with his daughter until he could get back in Saturday. His work truck is at his home, along with all his clean clothes. He is going to have to buy clothes and pay for a hotel and he has no idea when he will be able to get his work truck.
Smith says the residents were told that they would be given transportation to work from the hotel, but they would have to find their own transportation back after work, which presents a problem for most people.
She also says evacuation isn’t possible for everyone.
“I have two cats and a dog. I can’t take them and there’s nobody to take care of them. I also have parents down here who are close to 70 years old. If they don’t go, I can’t leave them,” Smith said.
Smith says they knew that area was unstable and continued to work despite the problems that occurred earlier this year.
“I blame the engineers more than anybody,” said Smith.
LEASA Chief of Administration Tim Arthur says they have people standing by in the Madison Creek area to evacuate anyone who wants to be taken out.
The W.Va. Department of Highways will bear the expense of hotel rooms for those who decide to leave.
The residents have reportedly been told the evacuation isn’t mandatory, but if the road gets completely blocked and any type of emergency assistance is required, it may take an extended amount of time for assistance to reach them, and it will be by boat.
W.Va. Delegate Rupert “Rupie” Phillips says he has been working on this with fellow Delegate Ted Tomblin and W.Va. Senators Art Kirkendoll and Ron Stollings.
“My heart goes out to those people, it really does. Teddy, Art, Ron and I are all upset over this situation and feel it is uncalled for and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. We have been talking to the governor and on the phone with W.Va. Department of Highways Brent Walker and Scott Eplin and Carrie Bly and we believe everyone is working to address it as soon as possible. We are working on everything we can think of to help them — blocks of rooms in various hotels, ways for those who work to get back and forth to work, ways to care for animals left behind, working with the Logan County Sheriff’s Department to provide security so property will be safe if residents are away and we are working with employers to try to keep employees from losing their jobs,” said Phillips.
Anyone living in the Madison Creek area who wishes to leave their residence needs to call 304-752-7662 to make arrangements for evacuation.