Whitesburg KY
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Slides create road emergencies

Heavy rain has cost the county more than $20,000 in materials alone repairing the damage caused by a single mudslide, officials said.

Officials declared a state of emergency last week after the slide took out two county roads and a four-inch water main, and exposed six-inch and 10-inch natural gas transmission lines.

The slide started at Klenco Drive at Ulvah, causing that road to drop approximately two feet, and completely wiped out Fat Baby Lane, just down the hill from Klenco. The slide left about 10 households without water until a small temporary line could be installed, and two families were unable to leave their homes except by walking along the railroad, Deputy Judge/Executive and Road Foreman Jason Back said.

The county declared a state of emergency because of the gas lines, but Back said there were no leaks. One of the lines is a long-distance transmission line that goes to Pennsylvania and is owned by Kinzer Drilling Company LLC of Allen, Ky. The other is owned by Jetta Operating Appalachia LLC of Fort Worth, Texas, and goes to a compressor station nearby. Kinzer sent heavy equipment to help with the repairs, Back said.

The county has applied for emergency funds from the Kentucky Department of Transportation to help pay for the repairs, but it is not clear whether that money will be available. In addition to the money spent on materials, which Back estimated at between $22,000 and $25,000, the road department has spent about 200 man hours on the repair, and it is only 85 percent complete.

There are several other slides around the county, including one that has shut down the road on Haymond Hill.

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