WEST COLUMBIA — Route 62 in West Columbia was reportedly covered with water and debris after the rainfall on Sunday.
Mason County Commission President Rick Handley sent an email to several local officials and Byrd White, the cabinet secretary and commissioner of highways.
In Handley’s message, he said this section of roadway “is a dangerous spot on a dry day due to the crumbling condition of the road.”
When it rains, there is reportedly water, mud and debris that comes off the hillside. Handley said the last time this happened, water rushed across Route 62 and washed out the rocks around and under the railroad track. Handley also said that if a train would come to pass over the track on these conditions, a tragic event could possibly happen with tanks full of hazardous materials.
In Handley’s message, he said Sunday’s issue caused traffic to be detoured, which affects the quickest route for EMS to transport patients to Point Pleasant. Handley also mentioned that during school, a bus could have been traveling with students, which could have possibly resulted in a disaster.
Handley was asking officials to find an answer to correct the issues with the road and hillside before a tragedy.
White replied to Handley saying the department of highways has engineers looking at remedies for the issues.
Handley said past and present county commissioners and the board of education have sent letters to officials before asking for a solution. Handley also said the area has been known for having large boulders to fall from the hillside.
“It’s just a tragedy waiting to happen and we need this corrected now,” Handley said.
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Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.