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Still hanging on

Crews battle snow, floods, landslides

March 11, 2011
By MARK LAW and WARREN SCOTT, Staff writers

The snow will stop falling by this evening but the Ohio River will keep rising until Saturday afternoon.

The National Weather Service in Moon Township, Pa., has issued a winter storm warning for the area into this evening and flood warnings for streams and creeks and the river.

The predicted snow didn't really materialize because of the warmer temperatures but higher elevations did see some accumulations.

Article Photos

ONE MORE HIT — Park Avenue in Weirton was left snow-covered after the Ohio Valley was hit with a snow storm late Thursday and into today. A winter storm warning will continue into tonight. -- Angelina Dickson

John Darnley, a weather service meteorologist, said the snow has been "hit or miss," with some areas getting several inches and other areas seeing hardly any snow.

The National Weather Service reported the Ohio River will crest about 1 foot above flood stage from New Cumberland to Wellsburg. The river level at Pike Island is expected to crest about 3.5 feet above flood stage.

Crews with the West Virginia Division of Highways have been monitoring several areas where rock slides have occurred as a result of the recent heavy rainfall and freezing and thawing temperatures.

Chip Snodgrass, superintendent of the Brooke County maintenance garage of the state Division of Highways, said early today crews were continuing to monitor areas of state Route 2 north of Wellsburg and at the south end of the county near Short Creek.

A section of the highway's northbound right lane between 27th Street and Bruin Drive has been closed since Feb. 25 when a slide spilled heavy rock and dirt onto the road.

More material, including large boulders, since has fallen farther north of that area.

An area of state Route 67 near the top of Buchanan's Hill was closed from Wednesday night to about 1 p.m. Thursday so state road crews could clear another slide.

Snodgrass said material from the slide had blocked both lanes of the road.

He said state road crews are continuing to work on a slip beneath Cross Creek Road near Putney Ridge.

Crews have been installing 40-foot long pilings along that area to secure the slip.

State Route 7 about one-half mile north of Rush Run was closed this morning due to a landslide. Tom Corey, Ohio Department of Transportation Jefferson County manager, said the hillside has stopped coming down and one northbound lane was opened around 8 a.m. The southbound lanes could remain closed through Saturday.

"There is a significant amount of debris and trees on the road," Corey said.

He noted there are several old mine shafts in the area that could have contributed to the landslide.

Corey said he was glad the snow didn't hit as hard as predicted, as he directed about half of the normal snow-control drivers to work on cleanup in the landslide area.

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