WEST SIDE, W.Va. — West Virginia’s damaging winter sent another reminder Wednesday morning when a hillside collapsed into the rear of a Kanawha County business.
The building housing Pins ‘N Rod Customs near St. Albans was knocked off its foundation as tons of mud and rocks pushed into the building with a force that sent parked vehicles and motorcycles through the front doors of the structure. There were no injuries.
Kanawha County Assistant Emergency Manager C.W. Sigman said hillsides are unstable with the freeze and thaw cycle of the last few months. Temperatures have been below zero several times and this week they are in the 50s and forecasted for the 60s.
“We might have some more (rockslides),” Sigman predicted.
The owner of Pins ‘N Rod Customs, which is near the intersection of U.S. Route 60 and Route 817, said he’s only been operating out of the site for about seven months. The former owner said there had been some runoff problems and flooding issues there in the past.
An estimate of the damage was not immediately available but it will include the building, vehicles, motorcycles, office equipment and paperwork.
Sigman said it may be a good idea for those near unstable hillsides to take some precautionary steps.
“That’s when engineering studies have to be made. Once you get stuff slipping like that you’re going to have problems,” he said. “Anytime you are close to a hillside like that and you have a rock cliff behind you, that’s something you have to watch out for.”