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West Virginia’s Bluestone Wildlife Management Area was evacuated and closed Monday as the New River above the Bluestone Dam and the Bluestone River began to flood, Summers County Commissioner Jack David Woodrum told the Register-Herald.

Woodrum said the order to clear all hunters and campers was made just after 7 a.m. with predictions that Bluestone Lake could reach 45 feet above normal.

He said the Bluestone Dam is open, but the lake level was still rising.

By noon the lake pool was 40 feet above the normal summer pool level, and while the water isn’t rising as quickly as expected, assess roads and the campgrounds are expected to be submerged, he said.

When the waters recede from the camping areas, Woodrum expects it will take some work to clean up the area, but officials hope to remove debris and get it reopened as soon as possible.

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