Residents who live directly behind the former Weirton Steel Basic Oxygen Plant have been forced into hotels after much of the debris from Saturday’s explosion was scattered onto their streets and into their homes.
Weir Avenue in Weirton, WV which falls under the jurisdiction of Hancock County was under a layer of brown film Saturday.
Clouds of dust gusting off roofs making the air thick and grainy for people to inhale. Streams of brown debris water flowed down hill as pressure washing trucks were brought in to remove some of the film from people’s cars and their homes.
There was a 1000 feet safety perimeter issued for the explosive demolition. Residents who live within those perimeters were ordered to stay inside or leave their properties.
Sarah Seyler returned from her sister’s home in Wheeling, WV to find her front door blown open. Her family pictures that had rattled themselves off the walls were scattered throughout her house and many of her items were covered with debris.
“It didn’t effect anybody right? They couldn’t have it go that way towards Route-2 right, cause God forbid we have it go towards Route-2. We’re gonna have it come towards families,” said Seyler.
Rickey Thompson lives over the hill from the plant and directly in the line of impact. His home suffered structural damage. His windows are now nothing but shards and his kitchen cabinets even detached from the walls.
On Friday, Thompson had a meeting with representatives from Frontier who are the owners of the steel property. Thompson said that during the meeting, Frontier assured him that his property would be safe.
“They gave me a 100 percent guarantee that none of this would happen and it all happened you could see by how my home looks,” said Thompson.
Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration was on scene patching windows and making minor repairs.
On scene, representatives said that a member of management would be down that afternoon to asses damages so the company can begin full restoration.
Residents said that Frontier is covering all repair costs and is footing the bill for hotel stay while these repairs happen.
It remains unclear how long the full restoration will take.