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Conservationists study troubling St. Albans streams

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Conservationists are studying three steams that frequently cause flooding in St. Albans, according to Mayor Dick Callaway.

Callaway gave an update on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study during Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

Three tributaries lead to the Kanawha River and flow through the city. The streams flood whenever there is heavy rain, Callaway said. The conservationists are studying the streams before any changes can be made.

Most of the flooding problems are self-imposed, he said.

"It's something that happened over the years as people built around the streams and changed the contour of the streams," Callaway said. "They put a lock in it, allowed trees to grow in it, built houses over it and bridges over it."

The U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service also is studying the streams, he said.

Eventually, those studies would provide the city with some guidance in dealing with the troublesome waterways, Callaway said. The city then would apply for the required permits to alter the streams.

"We've been having extraordinarily heavy rainfall," he said, "and that just overwhelms the streams."

Also during Tuesday night's meeting, City Council members approved giving a portion of 7th Avenue to the Washington Street Church of Christ to use for parking. In turn, the church would give up a portion of its lot to the city for an alleyway leading to Kirk Field and Kanawha Terrace. The church mistakenly had built a portion of its parking lot on 7th Avenue. The trade would fix that, Callaway said.

The plan must go before the city's attorneys for approval.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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