Oakvale drafts petition over Cumberland Road landslides

OAKVALE, WV (WOAY) – Multiple landslides on Cumberland Road in Oakvale have left residents fearing for their safety with the possibility of another incident.

The springtime brought two landslides on Cumberland that weakened its supporting wall. Since that time, those in Oakvale living underneath the road have been wary of what could happen in the case of more inclimate weather.

“The issue is the gravel is putting more weight on the slide from the top railroad,” said Oakvale Mayor Deborah Rachel. “It’s pushing the bank, which is behind the houses, to where it’s going to all cave in. We need a retaining wall or something done. It cannot stay like it is because it’s not passable.”

Town councilman Tom Jenkins has lived in Oakvale for two decades. In that period, this is the biggest and most pressing issue that he’s seen the town face.

“It’s the safety and well-being of our people,” Jenkins said. “Now it’s gotten to the point to where we are expecting that mudslide to come in at any time.”

Heavy rainfall has left Oakvale residents nervous about the wall’s status. Mayor Rachel has been working to solidify the road to ensure that those driving on it will be safe going forward.

“The timeline needs to be as soon as possible because it cannot stay like it is,” Rachel said. “It’s very dangerous. For people passing by, there are trees, large trees that have fallen. Luckily, no one was under them, but some of the citizens had to cut that out of the road just to get past.”

Oakvale representatives are hoping to get started on eliminating this road risk as soon as possible.