Perfect Conditions Bring Fear of Mudslides


LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- While everyone else likely spent their Saturday enjoying the record high temperatures, for David Hall, it was a day of doubt..

He was wondering if the hills by his house will hold.

"There's always that chance it could happen," said Hall.

As a resident of Madison Creek, he's already seen one crippling mudslide this year. He knows this weekend's conditions present the perfect storm for another.

"We worry about it every time it rains," said Hall.

"We do have a concern with some additional slides coming in," said Steve Runyon with the West Virginia Department of Highways.

Runyon has worked with the DOH for well over a decade, seeing the good years and the bad.

"This is not the norm," said Runyon.

He knows this rapid period of freeze and thaw weakens the soil, creating unstable conditions.

"When you get the freeze, it causes expansion," said Runyon, "and then when it starts thawing, you get the water running in back behind it."

It puts the DOH on high alert, hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

"We bring our crews out, and we usually have them on two 12-hour shifts. we station our equipment accordingly."


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