Monday morning, one week ago, we woke up to rising water in Marlinton. It was another one of those mornings when I wished Jacob Marlin had found a hollow tree on Beard Heights to spend that first winter. But, he did not and here we are. Consequently, Marlinton was settled on a river. Probably, for the same reason as Charleston, Parkersburg and Wheeling.
What has been an asset for larger cities is sometimes a liability for us.
What is the difference with cities like Cincinnati, Memphis or Pittsburgh?
When a flood occurs in these cities, I never hear about them moving away. A huge difference has been access to flood control. The Mississippi River at St. Louis experiences continual dredging to accommodate river traffic. Historic Marlinton has had no such accommodation. It is past time and now high time for the Greenbrier River to see minor dredging for the benefit of our citizens.
Last week’s flooding represented another event when removal of silt from the river and placement of the same on the bank, would have made a big difference. I have asked Senator Shelley Moore Capito to consider a project to do just that, and I intend to send her a letter, requesting river dredging for approximately a two-mile area from the old fairgrounds, north of town to below the mill at Stillwell, to the south of town.
Unlike the larger cities mentioned, “the oldest permanent English settlement west of the Alleghenies” has been denied the same right to clean out its streams because of various regulations. Consequently, the flooding has become more of an issue these last 40 year.
Now, with the School Building Authority saying they will provide no funding for school improvements in the floodplain, we must demand the same consideration here as other cities receive. Each city accepts a level of risk for the benefits of the river. The floodplain that surrounds Marlinton Elementary School does not present a danger beyond reasonable consideration.
FYI – The Town of Marlinton managed to avoid a “boil water advisory” last week by preserving treated water and not washing streets. Furthermore, we try to sweep streets before washing streets. All the gravel down the drains creates another problem.
Last Friday, the Street Sweeper was unavailable.
On Monday morning, the Street Sweeper was broke down.
Hopefully, by the time you read this, the streets will have been cleaned.