Logan County Emergency Services Deputy Director and Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Sonya Porter said the biggest obstacle cleanup crews and volunteers are facing is sightseers causing traffic tieups and delays in flooded areas.
“Traffic is the biggest problem we are seeing,” Porter said. “People who are not local to these areas do not need to be there sightseeing. They are causing hazards to our Department of Transportation personnel, our National Guard and everyone that are in there. Plus, they are also hindering our cleanup effort. If you are having to deal with traffic and having to stop equipment from working, you are wasting 3-4 hours a day.”
Porter said the cleanup is expected to take more than a month.
“We’re requesting additional manpower and equipment. This is not going to be a 7-10 day detail,” Porter said. “We’re talking about several weeks because it’s going to take time to get the debris out of the victims’ houses.”
Porter said that even after the cleanup appears to be ending, there will be more flood debris torn out of houses, like damaged sheetrock and other materials. Porter said the West Virginia National Guard will be going throughout the community picking up the debris.
“Once they get the main drag done, they will go to a different area, then they will come back to that area again, to check for additional debris,” Porter said.
At some point, though, Porter said the Office of Emergency Management will issue a deadline for debris to be removed by the National Guard.
“That day is far ahead and nowhere in sight at this time,” Porter said.
To contact Staff Writer Michael Browning, call 304-752-6950, extension 309, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.