Volunteers, National Guard Help with Flood Recovery in Eastern W.Va.

Jul 2, 2019

Overnight floodwaters washed away a section of this road between Job and Whitmer.
Credit Destiny Judy/The Inter-Mountain

Local and state leaders are beginning to clear roadways in eastern West Virginia, where counties dealt with severe thunderstorms and flash flooding Saturday night. Volunteers and the state National Guard have been a big part of their recovery.

In Grant County, emergency management staff are handing out “flood buckets” that include cleaning supplies to anyone in need, courtesy of the West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), a state chapter of a larger nonprofit that responds to disasters nationwide. 

On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency in Preston, Pendleton, Tucker, Randolph and Grant counties, authorizing the state National Guard to get involved where authorities deem necessary. 

Across the five affected counties, most emergency officials reported washed out culverts and basements.

The West Virginia Division of Highways said in a statement on Tuesday its maintenance crews and others are cleaning up debris and making road repairs where needed.

In Randolph County, 911 Director Cindy Hart said the local water and sewage plants were hit hard. As of Tuesday, water had been restored and leaks had been fixed in the Harman area, Hard said. The sewage plant still needs repairs.

The National Guard spent Tuesday removing debris from Harman School, according to a statement from the group that afternoon. The county has received $1.2 million from the School Building Authority for renovations at the school since 2016, as the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports, following a ceiling collapse in 2014.

The National Guard has set up two stations in Randolph County for potable water on Job Road and the Randolph County Senior Center in Harman, where Hart said volunteers were also handing out hot meals and bottled water.

Access to the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center at the Monongahela National Forest in Elkins is limited due to water damage and mud in the parking lot, according to a statement on Monday from staff. 

Tyrand Parish in Randolph County and the West Virginia VOAD are accepting cash donations and cleaning supplies to offset recovery costs.