Franklin County landowners worried about potential erosion as Florence gets closer

By Lezla Gooden - Reporter

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. - As the region braces for Hurricane Florence's impact, Franklin County residents are worried about erosion from the Mountain Valley Pipeline. 

Landowners in the county filed a lawsuit in May against the Mountain Valley Pipeline that claims Mountain Valley Pipeline caused erosion and damaged their land.

That lawsuit was dismissed. 

Now, one of those landowners says he's worried Florence could cause another round of damage. 

Glenn C. Frith owns more than 100 acres in Franklin County.

Frith is one of the landowners suing Mountain Valley Pipeline -- claiming their construction erosion is damaging his property. 

"They shouldn't be digging in these mountains and disturbing so much land at one time," said Frith.

Now the effects of Florence are heading this way. With possible heavy rainfall, Frith is worried about what will happen to his land where the pipeline runs.

"I hope this rain doesn't produce what they say. If it did produce what they say, I don't think they can do enough. I don't think you can control it. Water is going to run downhill and it's going to take out everything in its path if it's strong enough," said Frith. 

The Mountain Valley Pipeline and Frith are both taking precautions. 

"I have made sure that all of my pipes are clear and that I have done everything for my farm that I can," said Frith. 

The Mountain Valley Pipeline released this statement in planning for potential impact of Florence. 

"In consultation with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, we have halted the advancement of construction in Virginia until the storm passes and are focused on stabilization of the right-of-way, and maintenance and enhancement of erosion controls."

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