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Yeager board votes to remove hill after collapse

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Yeager Airport board officials, in an emergency vote Wednesday, accepted a proposal to tear down the remaining 146,000 cubic yards of a hillside that collapsed in March.

Board members hired S&E Clearing and Hydroseeding to remove a significant part of the safety overrun area.

A March landslide near Yeager Airport continues to concern officials who approved an $855,000 removal of the remaining hill.

“What they’re going to do is begin removing the material from the top, so that hopefully we can avoid any more significant slides coming down off the face,” said airport spokesman Mike Plante.

The airport planned on using insurance money for the work, but AIG Aerospace can’t afford the estimated $855,000. Director Rick Atkinson said the airport is seeking coverage expenses from insurance companies of the engineering firm and contractors who built the overrun area that collapsed.

“The amount of material that has fallen in the engineered field is just a small part of it,”  said Plante. “There’s still a bunch more material up there that could fall and could cause additional problems down below.”

Concerned about the hilltop collapsing further, officials want to eliminate the possibility of the Elk Twomile Creek backing up again and flooding along Greenbrier Street.

The hillside work is scheduled to take place during evening hours. Plante said lawyers have been meeting and have a few details to iron out, but the work should start soon.

Recently crews installed cameras around the slope, creek, and areas along Keystone Drive, so the site can be monitored 24 hours daily.

Stream gauges will also be installed in the creek in the next couple weeks to alert residents of any future flooding, if that were to occur.

As of Wednesday, Plante said nearly a handful of residents are still displaced in hotel rooms.

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