The Flood


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.


  1. Louise says:

    So good to hear from you. I have been concerned since I heard about the flood. I knew your house and studio were on high ground but I also knew you had that stream. It’s heartbreaking to hear about all of the damage. Prayers for all concerned.

  2. carla anne says:

    I’ve been thinking about you and your loved ones while reading about the devestating floods and sending out hope and concern for you and your critters. I am thankful your farm still stands, and I am sad for those who have lost everything.

  3. yvonnem says:

    So glad to hear from you and that you and your family are ok. I have not seen the devastation first hand, only through the news. My heart goes out to all affected. It’s really hard to believe all of this happened so close to Charleston, yet we had no major flooding.

  4. Deb says:

    I have been seeing the flood, terrible, glad you did not have it so bad, when we in Alabama really could do with rain, my garden is thirsty… but could be worse, take care,

  5. Sue, a Florida Farm Girl says:

    I’ve been concerned about you and the farm during all this terrible flooding. Glad you are okay and getting by. Stay safe. It’s going to be a long haul.

  6. GA_in_GA says:

    So glad to see your post and to know you survived the flood. Especially the barn and the animals. I knew the house and studio were on high ground.

    It is going to be a long haul for the people in your area. We faced a 1000 year flood here in 1994. My house was high and dry, thankfully. The aftermath of the flood brought out the very best in the people here. But it also took a toll on the community.

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. beforethedawn says:

    I watched a couple of videos on youtube (we don’t have TV service) and my heart just breaks for everyone affected. I’m glad you all and the critters are okay.

  8. Jersey Lady says:

    Thanks for the update. Thankful to hear you are OK. When we lived in NE we had a flood like that. Even not very big creeks washed away railroad tracks. We learned about the power of water. Take care and God bless, Gloria

  9. rurification says:

    Glad for the update and that you and yours are safe. We’d been watching Clendenin on the news for days. We went through the 2008 floods in Indiana – very scary. God bless all.

  10. PaulaA says:

    :heart: I feel so relieved for you and the critters. I remembered that Elkview and Clendenin were the towns close to you, and weirdly, I thought I even recognized in some of the news footage some of the houses from that video your photographer posted years ago of the “ride to town”. I’m sorry for your barnyard mess and the unexpected expenses of the fences, culvert, and hope you’ll soon have water. The emotional impact of having that sort of devastation so close by can be overwhelming, so I hope y’all will take good care of yourselves, as best you can. Thank you for letting us know how you’re doing. :moo:

  11. Joell says:

    Suzanne, thank you for this post, so many of us have so worried about you and the farm. What we are seeing on the news is unreal, we can;t imagine that this has happened in our country, and so close to many of us. We have family not to far from you and we called them as soon as we heard and they were safe. God help the wonderful people of West Virginia. Many of the churches in our area have been collecting cleaning supplies etc. to send. I urge all of your readers to help with any donations they can no matter how small, to those that have nothing left a little bit means a lot.

  12. Katharina says:

    I am so happy to hear you and family are all right. We were praying for your safety when the news covered the flood.

  13. DeniseS says:

    I am so happy to see your post and hear about how you are. I have been checking daily to see if you were able to give some word on how you and your farm survived this flood. You have been in my prayers along with the people of West Virginia. From the Weather Channel news reports the devastation was unbelievable. Thank you for the suggestions for organizations to donate to.

  14. bjwzcool says:

    Glad you and yours are OK…I’m very glad your barn and livestock made it also…Recovery is tough and leaves a mark on the areas affected. Some residents leave and some rebuild. In time, different people fill in the gaps left by others moving away. In 1977, flooding along the Tug and Levisa Forks of the Big Sandy River devastated Southern WV, parts of eastern Ky and some VA towns. Everyone was writing off Williamson WV and the surrounding areas. But the area rebounded although it took a little time. Everybody has the energy to “just do it”…slower phases come later…My thoughts and prayers have been with you all thru this…My family and friends in WV have been unaffected by this.(they live in other areas) But we are all deeply affected by the suffering we see. sign me a lover of West Virginia

  15. CATRAY44 says:

    I’m so glad you all are ok. I hope your dogs and livestock fared well. Bless you all.

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