Muddy run-off from pipeline right-of-way blocks Franklin County road

Published: May. 18, 2018 at 9:20 PM EDT
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Crews hired by the Mountain Valley Pipeline were busy Friday, clearing Cahas Mountain Road

Heavy rain Thursday night washed soil from the pipeline right-of-way and blocked the road with a thick layer of mud.

Wendell Flora lives within sight of the pipeline corridor and says he has been concerned about erosion ever since he heard the project would cross his property.

"Myself and others have been trying to tell people for months and years what was going to happen," Flora told WDBJ7. and this is proof positive."

Wendell's brother, Charles Flora, agreed. and said he believes others along the path of the pipeline are likely to experience the same thing.

"Surely, they are going to have similar problems if they have steep terrain," he said.

A spokesperson for the Mountain Valley Pipeline said an initial review indicated the proper controls were in place, but the ultimate cause was still under investigation. And Natalie Cox said the company is committed to safe and responsible construction.

Following is the company's full statement:

"On May 18, 2018, an inspector notified the MVP project team that a slip occurred on the right-of-way adjacent to Cahas Mountain Road. About six to eight inches of mud blocked both lanes of the road, but no streams or wetlands were impacted. Unusually heavy rainfall overnight contributed to turbidity in a nearby stream, which is apparent from the water conditions upstream from the right-of-way and site of the slip."

"Initial reviews indicate the controls were installed properly; however, the circumstances appear unusual and an ultimate cause is under investigation. Upon learning of the issue, MVP crews promptly began remediation activities. The project team remains committed to the safe and responsible construction of this important underground infrastructure project."