A landslide continues to do damage in Charleston, West Virginia, near Yeager Airport. It has already swallowed a church and an uninhabited house, knocked out power to the local airport, and dammed up a nearby creek. Luckily, no one has been injured, and many residents have been evacuated. Now authorities fear that heavy rains will make things even worse.
Yeager Airport spokesman Brian Belcher told ABC News that the airport knew about the looming problem as early as Sunday, but the landslide finally got underway on Thursday.
“It’s unclear what caused this landslide, but the biggest thing for engineers right now is to find a solution for what will be a long-term clean-up project. The landslide is still moving, and they can’t start clean-up or move people back in until it’s deemed safe.”
Dozens of West Virginia residents had to be evacuated from their homes to nearby hotels. Belcher explained that emergency personnel and the West Virginia Army National Guard did an excellent job getting people out of harm’s way.
Nevertheless, the landslide might still cause further damage.
According to the AP, weather forecasters are predicting up to two inches of rain in Charleston over the weekend. The ground is already reportedly saturated and further rainfall could get the landslide moving again, potentially gobbling up more homes.
Resident Buck Sutton detailed his experience to the AP.
“We didn’t know nothing until… the hill started falling. If we had known the day before, we could have started getting stuff out. We were trying to hurry up and get everything.”
A landslide in my native land, Charleston, West Virginia! Yeager Airport is scary to fly into on the best of days! pic.twitter.com/FwxTncwgHH
— John D. Harmon (@MyMoodyMuse) March 12, 2015
According to Yahoo! News, the landslide struck on a man-made emergency over-run area. Airport engineers say they will rebuild, but they have to wait until the ground hardens, meaning that the weekend rain will get a chance to wreak some more havoc.
The Charleston landslide has caused a fair amount of danger, but it could have been far worse. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a massive landslide in Nepal left eight dead and around 40 more injured. The landslide in Nepal was caused by heavy rainfall.
As for Charleston, West Virginia, residents won’t likely be able to return to their homes until after the weekend. People flying into Yeager Airport might also want to reschedule until after the landslide has settled.
[Image via West Virginia National Guard-Lt. Col. John “Todd” Harrell]