June 24th, 3am. Outside Liberty Baptist Church in Richwood, a few exhausted staff sat silently smoking cigarettes in the dark. Power was out throughout the town - and no one wanted to speak to the media. Nursing home administrator Belinda Stear wearily agreed to speak for a few minutes by flashlight inside the church’s kitchen.
“The water started rising, it was raining, we were watching the river just like we always do,” she said.
Around 1pm Thursday, Stear made the call to evacuate residents to Liberty Baptist Church – which sits on higher ground above the nursing home.