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Logan Couple Welcomes Baby After Mudslide Forced Them Out Of Home

Reported by: Send eMail Kera Mashek
Web Producer: Kera Mashek
Reported: Dec. 16, 2013 10:53 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 17, 2013 9:01 AM EST

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Landslide Labor
Eyewitness News Photo

Logan , Logan County , West Virginia

Good news for people forced to leave their homes after a landslide in Logan County. They can back in their homes in just a few days.

The DOH is now hoping to re-open the road into the Madison Creek area by Thursday. More than 100 people were trapped when the slide first happened exactly one week ago. Many people are still stranded in their homes, or staying at a motel after evacuating.

The DOH says the cost to repair the road after the mudslide, plus lodging, transportation and food for the people affected, will easily top $1 million.

A contingency fund should help cover that, and the DOH is glad the road into Madison Creek will be back, while a more permanent causeway across the Guyandotte River is still being built.

"So we went ahead with this idea of putting the causeway there which really has large culverts, a lot of stone and gravel and lifting it up just above the water. It's, it's a low water bridge. Once the causeway is up and running, it too will be temporary while we have the Route 10 project going on. So, ultimately that Route 10 project will give them wonderful access," said WV DOH spokesperson Brent Walker.

Contractors have been able to push the hillside back to its original grade and are slowly clearing debris. It will take several weeks for that new causeway to be built. In the meantime, emergency crews will keep taking residents out of the area by boat when needed.

One newlywed couple is caring for a brand new baby girl, after the mother was one of roughly 40 people who did evacuate Madison Creek Hollow.

If you're a parent, you know having a baby turns your world upside down. But for Megan Browning, it was an extra stressful time, as she went into labor the same day that major mudslide left her entire family stranded in Logan County.

As mud piled up over Madison Creek Road in Logan County one week ago, Megan Browning was nine months pregnant and starting to have contractions. A speed boat like this came to her rescue, but new husband Larry was left behind.

"I was in the ambulance all by myself and scared half to death because this was my first child," Megan Browning said.

Larry got to the hospital, but Megan wasn't admitted until Thursday, and that's when things got even scarier. The baby was coming--and four weeks early...

"Her umbilical cord was actually tied in two places: one around her shoulder and one around her leg. It made her heart rate go down and when her heart rate would go down, my blood pressure would drop. So we could have both easily died. And I'm going to get emotional...but I don't know what I'd do if I lost my baby," said Megan.

Thankfully, baby Maia and mom Megan are doing just fine now, but were forced to take their little girl to a hotel, with the mudslide still blocking the road home. Family members and the community pitched in to get them all the baby care essentials: from diapers to a bed. It's not exactly the dolled up nursery the Brownings planned on bringing Maia to.

"It's not home. It's not bringing her home. It's strange," said Megan.

But with a small tinsel Christmas tree and family nearby, the newlyweds are making the best of it, and counting their blessings.

"I am thankful we have a good baby. She behaves. And you know she's real quiet, and she's healthy!" Megan said.

"I guess the good Lord had us in good hands," new dad Larry Browning said.



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