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Iaeger Rockslide Blocks Road for Five Days, Leaves Residents Trapped

Rockslide outside Iaeger, West Virginia
Rockslide outside Iaeger, West Virginia

Since Wednesday, a rockslide has covered a portion of Railroad Yard Road, blocking some residents in Iaeger from leaving their homes.

 

Updated Monday July 25th 3:30:

 

According to Iaeger Mayor Joe Ford, local coal operator, Eddie Asbury, is on the scene of the rockslide and is in the process of removing the debris.

 

Original Story:

 

McDowell County resident, Deedra Blevins, says she plans to climb boulders Saturday evening so she can bring supplies to her 70-year-old mother, Dorothy Frost, who is one of those trapped behind the slide.

Heavy rains on Wednesday morning brought debris off the mountain, making it impossible for people to drive in or out of the area where Blevins’ mother lives.

 

“If my mother’s house would catch on fire, or if there was a medical emergency, there is no way to get her out,” Blevins said on Saturday.

 

According to Blevins, one of her mother’s neighbors who is also unable to get out is April Reed, who is 9 months pregnant.

 

Larry Messina, with W.Va. Dept. of Military Affairs & Public Safety, said in an email with West Virginia Public Broadcasting, “as this road is owned by the city and not the state, the Division of Highways has provided the mayor with the names of contractors. The Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management is checking on whether it has any technical advice to offer.”

McDowell County Commissioner Cecil Patterson says a local coal company has donated a front end loader to remove the rocks on Monday. "It will probably be myself and Commissioner McBride operating the front end loader. I don't expect it to take too long."

 

Patterson says by the end of the day Monday Railroad Yard Road should beclear.

Meanwhile, residents are waiting, and hoping no serious emergencies take place in the next few days.

Copyright 2016 West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Roxy Todd
Roxy Todd is a reporter and co-producer for Inside Appalachia and has been a reporter for West Virginia Public Broadcasting since 2014. Her stories have aired on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Marketplace. She’s won several awards, including a regional AP Award for best feature radio story, and also two regional Edward R. Murrow awards for Best Use of Sound and Best Writing for her stories about Appalachian food and culture.