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Potential Mudslides Worry Logan Community

Reported: Apr. 3, 2014 11:31 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 3, 2014 11:39 PM EDT
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LOGAN, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) -- With lots of rain in the forecast, people in one Logan County community are anxious. Madison Creek has already weathered one massive mudslide back in November.

It's kind of a tough position to be in. They live surrounded by huge mountains and they're keenly aware of their position, especially given what's happened with that deadly mudslide in Washington State.

With soil here made loose by several factors right now, the freezing, the thawing and blasting for the freeway, it’s a lot.

Now add heavy rain to that mix and it's nerve-wracking.

"It's scary when you've got small children and stuff and you've got the mountains coming in!" Margaret Caldwell, who is not thrilled with the forecast, said.

She surrendered part of her property to help her community, so State crews could build a causeway at the other end of town.

If the muddy mountain walls came tumbling down again, there is at least a way out.

"It came in before, we were blocked out,” Caldwell said. “Some of us were blocked in. I got hurt at that time and had to be took out on a side by side, through the mountain, took them two hours to get me to a hospital."

Several of her neighbors were trapped for days after the last mudslide and with very few supplies.

"Oh, it was horrible, Justin Mullins said. "I didn't get out for six days and there was people stuck for about a week and a half!"

Thunder clapped and rumbled as we spoke with Robert Caldwell.

"I was affected multiple times, by more than one slide," Caldwell said. "Had to miss probably ten days altogether."

Madison Creek is relatively low right now. Good news since there's a bunch of rain for days in the forecast.

"Yeah, you're always worried about more rockslides," Caldwell said. "I actually seen a tree come down behind a school bus one day and we're really happy that the causeway comes in, cause the kids don't have to come through that part of the construction."

There's blasting for the new highway at both ends of the creek.

"We have no warnings most of the time,” Margaret Caldwell said. “When it goes off, it shakes our whole homes!"

Some of the slides have come right up to their garage, where they're restoring a classic corvette.

"You've got houses on the hillsides that are still there. I'm sure it's in the back of their minds if it slides into their house, it could happen,” Robert Caldwell said. “Rock comes rolling through your house."

"At least we've got the causeway now,” Margaret Caldwell said. “But how do we know if it's safe? If a big flash flood comes through here, those culverts are going, too. We're gonna be blocked again."

The Caldwells said some of their neighbors have stocked-up on extra supplies, just in case the next big one happens.

But there are plenty of people in Madison Creek who buy groceries day to day. It's those people they worry about. The same ones who had to survive ten days stuck, when the last hillside came down.



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