Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

FIXING MAJOR MESSES ; It Will Take at Least a Week to Clean Up after Christmas Deluge

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

FIXING MAJOR MESSES ; It Will Take at Least a Week to Clean Up after Christmas Deluge

Article excerpt

City of Charleston and West Virginia Division of Highways workers on Monday said completing flood cleanup and road repairs will take at least a week. Heavy rain over the Christmas weekend dumped about 2 inches of rain and caused severe flooding in Kanawha County, but damage wasn't nearly as extensive as it has been in years past, one road worker said.

"It's not as bad as you think, said Rodney Fisher, a DOH foreman.

Fisher and about 20 other DOH workers made road repairs Monday along Sissonville Drive, where they replaced six truckloads of gravel and larger rock along bridges that high water washed away.

"I've seen a lot worse," said Fisher, who has worked for the DOH for 19 years.

He said floods in the early 2000s were much worse and that the Christmas flooding was bad because it was unexpected.

On Christmas, heavy rainfall caused rock- and mudslides, and high water led to street closures throughout Kanawha and surrounding counties. On Monday, most roads had been cleaned, but workers said there still were areas that needed to be cleared.

"We're doing mostly spot checks around the area and fixing major messes, said Bill Swindler, a truck operator for the DOH.

Swindler and Fisher's crew have 485 miles of state roads to inspect, although not all will need to be cleared.

How long that work will take remains to be seen, but Fisher said he expects cleanup will remain a priority through the end of the week.

Charleston city workers also were out Monday cleaning streets along Sissonville Drive, near Two Mile Creek, where the most flood damage occurred.

"The area that we saw the most rescues and the most damage, so far, was on Kanawha Two Mile Creek, in Sissonville, said Kanawha County Fire Coordinator C.W. Sigman in an interview on Saturday.

As of Monday afternoon, that area still needed work.

"It was hit pretty good, said Tom Caldwell, a Charleston street department foreman.

On Monday, yards along Two Mile Creek were still soggy, strewn with debris and large pieces of trash.

Caldwell said cleanup likely will take another week.

"There's only so many things you can get to, he said, adding that city workers already cleared most roads over the weekend, "but there's still a lot of cleanup to do. …

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