Rainelle

Lt. Dennis Feazell, of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, watches for debris as he and a co-worker search flooded homes in Rainelle, W.Va., Saturday, June 25, 2016.
Steve Helber / Associated Press

Flood mitigation efforts continue in southern West Virginia through a grant funded study by Marshall University.

The long-term project focuses on Rainelle in Greenbrier County, which has experienced significant flooding in the past 20 years. The Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] awarded more than $1 million to continue the study.

Steve Helber / Associated Press

Several families impacted by flooding last year in West Virginia have received new homes.

WVVA-TV reports the Rainelle residents were handed keys to their homes on Monday. The homes have 8-foot (2-meter) support beams should severe weather come again.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Cleanup work has started on flood-control channels in the West Virginia community of Rainelle, which was ravaged by flooding last June.

The West Virginia Conservation Agency says in a news release that the agency and its contractors are removing sediment from channel beds and clearing brush from the channel banks. The West Virginia National Guard will take the debris to another site for incineration.

Jessica Lilly

On Friday, October 28, 2016, just a little more than four months after June’s historic flooding, 83-year-old Gerda Thompson passed away. Thompson lost her husband Edward during the 2016 flood that ravaged West Virginia in June. In July, she was featured in an Inside Appalachia TV special called West Virginia's 1,000 Year Flood.

On Saturday, October 29th, her son Keith Thompson posted the news of her death on Facebook:

Glynis Board

This week on our Inside Appalachia podcast, we're revisiting some of the stories from our recent TV episode of Inside Appalachia. We hear stories of heroism and survival in towns like Richwood, Rainelle, and Clendenin. Residents and community leaders share their stories of loss and resilience.

Here's a link to the video:

West Virginia University's Student Government Association is heading to southern West Virginia for flood cleanup efforts.

As part of its annual leadership retreat, the SGA plans to travel to Rainelle on Monday and Tuesday to lead multiple volunteer groups.

One Month Out Many Still Struggling After Flood

Jul 21, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, the great flood of 2016 happened one month ago.  Today, reports about the people affected, a woman who lost her husband in Rainelle, a Clendenin woman who worries about her towns future and an artist struggling to keep her business going in Greenbrier County. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Clendenin Public Library
WV Library Commission

Not only were homes and businesses impacted by flood waters last month, but public libraries suffered as well.

Five feet of flood water destroyed the Rainelle Public library’s entire print and digital collections. According to a press release from the West Virginia Library Commission, the Clendenin Public Library was declared a catastrophe. Flood waters forced out windows and left 8 inches of mud throughout the building. All books were destroyed, and the structural integrity of the facility is in doubt.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Three people have been arrested for taking donated items while falsely claiming to be flood victims.

Sgt. C.R. Johnson of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources tells WVVA-TV that a recent anonymous tip lead the department to investigate siblings Eric Stone, Diane Stone and Marcia Stone of Rupert.

Rainelle, Flood
Roxy Todd / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The town of Rainelle, a town of about 1,500 people, was largely evacuated last Thursday because of the flood. Water rose about 5 ft. in parts of the town, damaging businesses, homes, and the library. Fred Fryar was one of the evacuees. He’s the pastor of Sewell Valley Baptist Church. Two days later, he was working on cleaning his home.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra brings us a flood recovery update after Governor Earl Ray Tomblin visited two of the hardest hit communities – Rainelle and Clendenin.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from survivors of the flooding that devastated southeastern West Virginia.

While the Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing aid, Kara Lofton reports most of the rescues, cleanup, and support so far has been provided by the local communities.

Dollar Photo Club

The Local Foods, Local Places partnership is a yearly federal award to communities around the country to help integrate local food strategies into economic development efforts. The award was given to six Appalachian communities in 2016, including one in West Virginia.

The initiative started in 2014 as part of the White House Rural Council’s work to support communities that want to make local foods a stronger part of the local economy. There are now 60 Local Foods, Local Places partnerships across the country. More than a third are in Appalachia, including four in West Virginia.