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Highway damage from floods at $16 million

The state DOH posted these photos of Wednesday on how work has progressed on U.S. Route 60 at Caldwell in Greenbrier County.
The state DOH posted these photos of Wednesday on how work has progressed on U.S. Route 60 at Caldwell in Greenbrier County.

CHARLESTON, W.Va.¬†—¬†Estimated damage to the state highway system from the historic flash flooding is currently at $16 million, according to state Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox.

During an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline” Wednesday, Mattox said Clay County took the brunt of the damage.

“Clay County leads the list with about $5 million worth of damage, then Greenbrier County with about $4 million, Nicholas County with about $3.5 million and Kanawha County with about $2.5 million,” he said.

Seven bridges were destroyed by the floodwaters but Mattox said fortunately all were less than 100 feet long.

Although the damage is widespread, Mattox said it’s not as much as the 1985 flood.

“The flood did not impact large stretches of roadway like the 1985 flood or major bridges like the 1985 flood,” Mattox said.

One of the more expensive projects will be the repair of U.S. Route 60 at Caldwell in Greenbrier County where contractors were working Wednesday.

Mattox also said Wednesday, there are two communities near Clendenin in Kanawha County where residents still can’t get in or out by vehicle.

“The Left Fork of Leatherwood (Road) and also the Porter Creek area, we have nine homes stranded in one area and about half a dozen in the other,” he said. “I’m told that three small bridges on one of the roads we are going to have to replace and reconstruct the road, that will come later. Our major focus right now is to get a temporary road in and out of those areas.”

Kanawha County emergency officials have known about the situation and supplies have been walked into the area for a few days, county commission president Kent Carper said.

Getting to the areas is a priority, Mattox said.

“We’re going to put in at least a gravel road, put some pipe in the creek, and get those people so they can get in and out from their homes.”

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