Preston County officials tracking propane tanks floating down Cheat River

PRESTON COUNTY, W.Va. — Preston County officials are working to retrieve at least two propane tanks in the Cheat River that went into the river following flooding earlier this summer.

Officials added there may be one more tank heading downstream.

Investigators researched the serial numbers on the tank, leading them to Harman; the town was one of many West Virginia towns that endured four inches of rain over a few hours in late June.

“It would have been about 65, 66 river miles from where it started to where it ended up,” said Justin Wolfe, assistant director of Preston County E-911. “One of the other tanks actually made it further; it made it to the Rockville area of Preston County.”

Law requires propane tanks to be “flood strapped” in flood zones, which dependent on the size of the tank. Most strapping is done with steel bands, concrete or concrete blocks.

“One of the tanks was venting when it went by because you could smell the propane,” Wolfe said. “Probably the valve got knocked or cracked or something to where it was venting.”

Wolfe added Tucker County officials and Preston County residents have helped track the tanks since the storm, and Preston County officials are looking for the right opportunity to remove them from the river.


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