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Flood Project Should Provide Relief For Logan

Reported: Apr. 28, 2014 5:31 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 28, 2014 5:44 PM EDT
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LOGAN, W.Va. (Kennie Bass) - It seems like at least once a year, this section of Logan is under water. Businesses along Island Creek could count on having to clean up after a disaster on an annual basis.

But a dedication ceremony marked the completion of the Island Creek Flood Protection Project, a $40 million dollar venture designed to keep water out of places like Stereo Video Unlimited, whose owner says he's lost count of how many times his business has been flooded.

"Oh this is great," Jesse Queen of Stereo Video Unlimited said. "This has worked already. We've seen the results probably about two or three months ago we have a big rain come in. And all the area around us, behind us was hit real hard. We had nothing."

U.S. Representative Nick Rahall worked with members of the West Virginia congressional delegation to secure $30 million dollars in federal funding for the project, which has been in the planning stages since 1976.

"I think it's going to make a tremendous difference Kennie," Rahall said. "You're not going to see the constant flooding that these people have been affected. Whether it's small businesses or whether it's homeowners, there's going to be a tremendous piece of mind."

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin is a Logan native. He says the work, which included widening the Island Creek channel to an 80-foot bottom going 3600 feet upstream has already prevented a flood this year. He says by saving four million dollars in annual flood cleanup costs, the project will pay for itself in a decade.

"I think even though this was an expensive project, this is one that will save money in the long run," Tomblin said. "Simply because the stream has now been restored. It's wide and can get the water to the Guyandotte River."

The only think left to be finished is the installation of a Flood Early Warning System, which will consist of six rain gauges and water elevation detection devices. That system should be online by the summer of 2015.



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