CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A rock slide snarled southbound traffic along I-79 Monday morning. It happened at the 1-mile marker between the Mink Shoals exit and the I-77 split in Kanawha County.
The slide occurred about 6:30 a.m. Carrie Bly, a spokesperson with the state Division of Highways, said a good chunk of the hillside fell away.
“We’re very lucky and fortunate, in the situation, that the biggest rocks in the slide actually went on to the shoulder,” she explained.
Several of those boulders were as large a mid-sized cars and weighed several ton. They ended up in the ditch next to the berm of the road. Some smaller rocks did land in the southbound lanes, disrupting traffic.
“There’s conflicting reports as to how many vehicles were involved. There were some minor wrecks and luckily no on had any injuries,” explained Bly.
Once the rocks and the vehicles were cleared from the interstate, a DOH crew set up orange cones around the slide area. Bly said this isn’t a first for that stretch of highway.
“It’s happened before there and it’s most likely going to happen again. But we will be keeping a watch on it.”
Bly added it doesn’t appear another slide is imminent. Both lanes of the interstate were reopened within two hours after the incident.