POMEROY — St. Patrick’s Day was both lucky and unlucky in Pomeroy after an early morning rockslide shut down a portion of Ohio 833. There were, luckily, no injuries.
According to Ashley Rittenhouse, public information office for Ohio Department of Transportation District 10, ODOT’s local garage manager was made aware of the slip around 4 a.m., Friday. Rittenhouse said the rock never actually rolled into the road but for safety purposes, and concerns it might slide further, the road in the area near the Marathon station on Main Street was closed. Detours were being set up around the village and as of press time, there was no estimate as to when the road in that area would be reopened.
ODOT crews were busy clearing trees and other debris on the hillside so that they could more easily access the large rock. Once crews can get to the rock, which had broken in two, they were to begin the process of breaking it down for removal, literally chipping away at it.
Rittenhouse said though no timeline was in place for reopening that section of roadway, crews were working all day and were “light enabled” to work overnight to remove the danger.
“We recognize this is a main thorough way,” she said when talking about crews working “around the clock.”
As for what caused the rockslide, at this time it appears it was caused by a buildup of moisture in the area, Rittenhouse said.
“We are thankful no one was hurt,” she said. “We are asking folks to stay away from the area and take the detour…it will allows us to do our work and do so safely and get the road open, hopefully more quickly.”
Power outages were also reported in the area following the slide. In addition to ODOT, also on the scene were personnel from American Electric Power and the Pomeroy Police Department.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.