Resilience

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear from award-winning filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon, about her passion for shining a light on the resilience and strength of Appalachians. 


On this West Virginia Morning, we hear two stories of challenges and resilience in Appalachia. We also bring you a report from the Ohio Valley ReSource on coal company American Resources Corporation.

Kara Lofton / WVPB

The rain came hard and fast early on the morning of June 23, 2016. By 2 p.m., water was knee deep in Bill Bell’s appliance store on Main Street in Rainelle, a small town on the western edge of Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

Glynis Board / WVPB

Here in central Appalachia, we have plenty of high-tech skills, and many of us can connect to orbiting satellites, and therefore people and ideas on the other side of the globe, in milliseconds.

But there are also a lot of isolated pockets throughout Appalachia where a smart phone is rendered pretty dumb.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Resourceful. Self-reliant. These are some of the values many people who live in the mountains pride themselves on. But could we sustain ourselves?

Rachel Taylor stands on the front porch of her little yellow house in White Sulphur Springs. The front door is pasted with paw prints where her dog tried to get in during the flood.

Across the street, nestled between two battered houses, is an empty lot marked by a cross with an array of flowers and photos. It’s a memorial for a family washed away by the flood.

In light of the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, this week on Inside Appalachia we remember the West Virginia water crisis from 2014. We’ll also hear from people in the coalfields who don’t have access to clean water, day in and day out. And we’ll honor the traditional “Appalachian” way of coming together to lean on each other.