By Shianna Pennington
The most horrendous flooding in West Virginia history occurred June 23rd and 24th of this year. Millions of dollars’ worth of damages were done to homes, businesses, and roads. Several people lost their lives, resulting in even more struggles for those who already lost everything. Governor Tomblin declared a state of emergency in 44 out of the 55 counties in the state.
The Clendenin/Elkview area, Richwood and Greenbrier County were a few of the communities damaged by the floods.
Herbert Hoover High School, in Clendenin, was one of the schools hit the hardest. The school had over 70 percent damage and FEMA declared that they had to build a new school. The high school students will be sharing Elkview Middle, with both going half days, until portable buildings are set up on the football field.
Though the whole state was hit hard, people from all over the state, and out of state, came in to help those areas. The Salvation Army came in with two Canteens, a complete kitchen on wheels, to Richwood and Clendenin to help feed and hydrate victims and emergency responders. Tide Loads of Hope brought in mobile washing units to wash, dry and fold laundry, free of charge, for those directly hit by the flooding. P&G, a consumer goods company, came in with the Tide company to hand out care kits that contained personal hygiene products and cleaning supplies. FEMA also came in and provided mobile homes for those left without a place to stay. Those eligible for these homes are allowed to stay rent free for 18 months in one or two-bedroom units that come fully furnished.
Some of our own students and teaches also went out to help those affected by the floods. Health teacher Steve Lough gathered with past and present athletic trainers to run a car wash to fundraise money. Their car wash raised $450 which they divided up to give to three high schools; Clay County High, Herbert Hoover, and Richwood High. Senior, Katie Bailey, went to Clendenin with her church family and handed out boxes of pizza, gave tetanus shots, and offered words of encouragement or prayers.
“It was devastating to see the state these people were in. We went to one house and this man had just bought a brand new Mustang a week ago and it had water stained to the windshield. Another house had to be completely demolished from water damage and the man decided it was best to move to Georgia with his son,” said Bailey.