Follansbee Recovering from Weekend Flooding
The city of Follansbee in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle experienced heavy rains that left the town flooded this weekend. Water has receded and cleanup is underway.
Two short rain events on Saturday dropped 5 inches of water over the town of about 3,000 people. The rain overwhelmed Allegheny Creek, a tributary of the Ohio River. A six-block area was hardest hit. Damage assessment continued through Monday with the National Guard going from building to building. Brooke County Emergency Management director Bob Fowler said there’s not enough damage to warrant an emergency declaration, so individuals and the county will be left to pay for a lot of the cleanup, repairs, and replacing ruined property.
“There’s not a lot of money in this county so this is a devastating impact on our county here,” Fowler said. “Brooke County is just now starting to recover. We lost our coal mines; we lost Weirton Steel which was a big impact here on our county.”
Roughly 200 homes were affected - mostly on basement levels. 30-40 businesses and three churches have moderate to heavy damage. 40-50 vehicles were also destroyed including a fleet that delivers food and transports elderly people in the county.
Crews are standing by to begin clearing debris. Several locations continue to serve the area with disaster cleanup supplies, food and water.
City manager John DeStefano says Follensbee hasn’t seen flooding like this weekend’s since the early 90s.