KEYSER - Work has continued throughout the week to stabilize a rock slide near Piedmont which broke the town's sewer line and threatened to take out CSX's railroad tracks.
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Work has continued throughout the week to stabilize a rock slide near Piedmont which broke the town’s sewer line and threatened to take out CSX’s railroad tracks.
The slide occurred last Friday and workers from the town, Carl Belt Inc., CSX and other entities have been working together since then to correct the situation.
A geo-engineer had been brought to the scene on Thursday to help stabilize the bank enough to replace the broken pipeline.
Despite the line break, Piedmont mayor Ben Smith said the town was still able to provide sewage service to its residents by using a diesel pump to by-pass the broken pipeline section.
“We’re pumping it out of one manhole, past a second manhole, and into a third manhole,” he said, noting that from there, the effluent is able to continue flowing to the sewage plant.
Del. Gary Howell has been working with Smith to get relief for the town, becoming involved when representatives of CSX called him Friday evening to fill him in on the situation.
Howell said he immediately got on the phone with Gov. Jim Justice’s staff, as well as the director of West Virginia Homeland Security and Emergency Management in order to get the state involved in getting some help for Piedmont and keeping the slide from taking out the railroad tracks.
Howell, home from the 2019 legislative session in Charleston for the weekend, met with Mayor Smith and others at the site early Saturday morning.
“The slip that has ruptured the sewer system and is threatening to bury the CSX tracks is nearly a half-mile long,” Howell said.
Workers from Carl Belt have been working at the site all week, and Smith said he has been really impressed with what they have done and how everyone has worked together to help make the repair work go as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Howell also expressed his appreciation for the cooperative effort among all entities involved.
“I want to thank the director of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, CSX, Gov. Jim Justice and his staff, the mayor of Piedmont and his staff for their professionalism, and working together in this crisis,” he said.
“When there is trouble in West Virginia, we come together as a family and get it fixed.”
No completion date has been estimated.