BELMONT COUNTY officials are asking for the public's support to pin down who is illegally dumping at Wegee Creek off Ohio 7 and vandalizing property.
Flood workers have removed mattresses, tires, refrigerators and other items from the creek in Shadyside.
A pile of dirt blocks the access road as a quick fix for Shadyside, Mead Township and Belmont County officials.
"Unfortunately, this is the second time in the last month and a half to two months, people have removed the chains which have closed off the area," said Dwayne Pielech, county flood grant coordinator. "Not only did they remove the chain with four padlocks on it, but they also took a chainsaw and cut two telephone poles to get the chain off."
Flood grant workers clean up natural debris at creek sites around the county, but also come across litter, according to Pielech. He said Wegee, in particular, is a problem area for dumping.
"We took two 40-cubic yard dumpsters out of there and several dozen tires. There was a lot of meal products that we also took from the area, and plastics we tried to recycle," Pielech said.
He said the area is pretty clear for now. While officials try to find a solution, they said they want residents who live by the creek to keep their eyes open.
"What we are asking the public to do is for anyone who knows anyone, an individual or group, that removed the chains at the site, to please contact the Belmont County Sheriff's Office."
The chain removed reportedly weighed close to 100 pounds and cost hundreds of dollars. Officials said they hope that the temporary dirt block discourages any further illegal activity.