They are calling it the “thousand year flood” in this area, and I know many of you have seen the pictures on the news. It was the worst flood here in recorded history. We have been out of power until yesterday, and are trying to get cleaned up here and deal with the situation in which we are on day 7 with no water. (Water, water, everywhere, but not running in the pipes.) We are okay. The house, studio, and barn are on high enough ground, though it got close with the barn. The creek and culvert were torn up, a new culvert will be needed, and a lot of fencing was torn out and swept away. But we were the fortunate ones. The nearest town here is Clendenin, West Virginia. The entire town was under water. People were on rooftops trying to save their lives. Every business in Clendenin was flooded–the grocery store, the library, the post office, the bank, the gas station, the churches, everything, and all the homes. Much of it may never be back–FEMA is here, and many people and businesses are selling and leaving. They have nothing left here. I’ve been through Clendenin and Elkview (also a massive hit from the flood) several times now and it’s truly a disaster area. People’s lives are in piles at the sides of the roads in front of every house as people try to pull out and salvage what they can–then it all ends up in mountains of debris in parking lots where it’s hauled away. Many homes were also flooded here on my road, and all around. People’s cars were flooded, bridges to their homes washed away, porches and decks torn off, propane tanks laying in the middle of the road, it’s just a total devastation around here. Thank you to all who have been concerned–I only had cell service for days, and even that wasn’t very good for the first few days.
Here is how the farm looked on the day of the flood, which is nothing compared to the entire town of Clendenin under water, but will give you an idea of the force of the water that day when all we were dealing with was a normally-small creek, not the river they were contending with in Clendenin.
Ways to help:
If you’re in the area, they need help at the relief stations in Elkview and Clendenin–you can give supplies of water and non-perishable food and cleaning supplies and hygiene supplies and diapers, everything. (They don’t need furniture or household type items at this time–the people who need help don’t have houses to put furniture in.) You can also give your time if you can help out at a relief station. (This is where I’m headed today.)
If you’re not in the area, you can donate through the Salvation Army or Mountain Mission or Matthew 25 Ministries or many other relief organizations that I’m sure you can find by searching online for West Virginia flood relief.