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Groups Work to Bring Business Back to Flood Areas

Josh Saul
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Organizations from around the state gathered at Marshall University Friday to discuss the next step in rebuilding the communities ravaged by the June 2016 flooding.

The one-day summit in Huntington focused on ways to improve the devastated economies in regions of the state where flooding took not only homes, but also businesses and schools. Jenny Gannaway, is the Executive Director of the West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster group, which hosted the event. 

"A lot of times the economy and what’s happening to the economy in an area after a disaster is always lost in the shuffle," Gannaway said. "So we know that in working with families, if a family doesn’t have a grocery store to shop at or a gas station or a school is effected then they’re not going to stay there in those communities."

The summit featured panel discussions covering government, nonprofits, business, and higher education. Gannaway said it’s going to take a well-rounded effort in order to boost the economy to the level it was before the floods occurred. 

"So that together we’re all working together, one may be doing the economy, one may be doing the health part, somebody else may be doing the rebuilding of the homes, but at the end everything has to come together and gel together," Gannaway said.

A second Economic Recovery Summit will be held in the spring at West Virginia University. Governor-Elect Jim Justice was among the speakers at the conference.

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