New River Stops Traffic
Three Feet Higher than Last Month and Rising Rapidly
Back Waters in Eggleston Tunnel
Report of the Washing Away of Fifteen Miles of Track Neither Confirmed Nor Denied.
Pearisburg Bridge in Bad Shape
Not within the memory of the “oldest inhabitant” have the waters of New River been so high as now and, as a result, traffic on the western end of the Radford division is at a complete standstill.
During the April floods New River reached a stage of a foot higher than in 1878, where nearly the whole of the town on Hinton was submerged, and at 6 o’clock yesterday afternoon the waters were three feet higher than in April and rising at the rate of three inches an hour.
No 3, due here at 8.25 Tuesday night, did not arrive until 10.30 yesterday morning, and since then no attempt has been made to run trains between this city and Radford.
The principal seat of trouble is the same old hoodoo – Eggleston tunnel. The tunnel has not caved in, we are told, but the back waters from New River render it impossible to run trains through it. The track for some distance this side of the tunnel is submerged. The Pearisburg bridge is also in bad shape, and No 15, which left this city at 7.15 Tuesday evening, has gotten no further yet than Pearisburg.
It was stated last night that trackage amounting in the aggregate to about fifteen miles had been washed away between Bluefield and Radford. This report cannot be confirmed, and yet the division office is not in a position to deny it. The story is probably exaggerated, but there is a disposition to believe that it is not wholly untrue.
There is practically no track washed out between this city and Pearisburg, but even the officials have little knowledge of the condition of the roadbed between Pearisburg and Radford owing to the fact that the telegraph wires between these points are down and the majority of the poles washed away. It is possible that as much as fifteen miles of track has been washed out, but it is not considered probable.
A train with telegraph supplies was sent to Pearisburg last night, and until the wires are restored nothing definite can be learned.
Bluefield Daily Telegraph, 23 May 1901