Country music star and West Virginia native Brad Paisley toured flood damaged areas of Kanawha County Thursday after committed to help the region recover from catastrophic flooding.
The floods, which left 10 counties named federal disaster areas, killed 23 people and damaged or destroyed thousands of homes.
Paisley made stops in the Clendenin area, joined by senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, which included a tour of the mud soaked band room of Herbert Hoover High School.
Covered in about an inch of mud, sheet music and instruments laid strewn across the classroom floor. The first floor of the building took on about 7 feet of flood water.
The clean-up process has begun in the school, but mud and water still stand in the band room, two gyms, cafeteria, and wood shop.
"Any photo doesn’t do justice to sort of this thing that goes on in your mind that you’re thinking, I shouldn’t be breathing this," Paisley said after viewing the damage. "That feeling in a school is a terrible feeling.”
Kanawha County schools are scheduled to begin classes in early August.
Herbert Hoover principal Michael Kelley says both the county and his school are committed to starting classes on time. His students and his community need a return to normalcy, he added.