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Richwood mayor faults FEMA restoration standards

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Richwood residents still digging out from a late June flood are finding more problems to deal with.

Mayor Bob Henry Baber said one of the newest problems are dirt, mud, sand and large rocks that are clogging the town’s storm drains.

“The Jet Truck can’t break up what’s inside those drains,” Bob Henry Baber said. “The drain that’s on Oakford Avenue has a creek coming out. That caused two more houses to receive flooded basements.”

 While that’s causing a headache, an even bigger problem is bubbling under the river.

“Our sewage and wastewater lines are destroyed,” Baber said. “We have some temporary pumps up on land that are trying to get things sorted out. The original pipes ran throughout the stream, which is common in many places.”

In most places, sealed pipes in a stream aren’t a problem, Baber said. When a town tends to flood, as Richwood does, it becomes a problem, he added.

“I’m not a happy guy,” Baber said. “FEMA is talking about putting the pipes back in the river instead of underground where they belong.”

The reason for this decision is due to FEMA’s regulations on restoration…

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