2016 Flood

Credit Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Heavy flooding in West Virginia has claimed lives, destroyed thousands of homes and businesses as 10 counties have been declared a federal disaster. Find our complete coverage below including  links to disaster relief and other useful information. 

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Public Broadcasting won 11 Associated Press awards this weekend, including a public service award for coverage of the historic 2016 floods in southern West Virginia. 

Flood, Elkview
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A federal bankruptcy judge has scheduled a hearing to consider a financing plan for an access bridge at a West Virginia shopping center to replace one that was destroyed in last summer's flooding.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Patrick Flatley on Thursday scheduled an April 6 hearing in Clarksburg on mall owner Tara Retail Group's intentions to build a new bridge at the Crossings Mall in Elkview. The owner filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy just prior to a January auction for the mall property.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On June 23, 2016, West Virginia experienced some of the worst flooding in the state’s storied history. During the past 52 years, 282 West Virginians have died in floods, including the 23 who perished last summer after historic water levels led to a federal disaster declaration in 12 counties.

Nine months later, communities are still recovering from the high water. 

Small businesses in Greenbrier County are bouncing back following last year's devastating floods.

The Register-Herald reports that the city of White Sulphur Springs staged a series of ribbon-cutting ceremonies earlier this month to welcome nearly a dozen businesses that have either newly opened or reopened after the June 23 floods. The floods killed 23 people and ravaged homes, businesses and infrastructure.

On The Legislature Today, education takes the spotlight in both the House and Senate as lawmakers debate bills making major changes in the state’s Pre-K through 12 system.

Senators are set to debate a Common Core repeal on the floor this week, which a Democratic member says is redundant and unnecessary. In the House, members focus on ways to give county school systems more flexibility in light of coming funding cuts.


West Virginia is receiving $12.8 million for flood recovery efforts in Nicholas and Kanawha counties.

Part of the grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be used by the Nicholas County School District to secure temporary facilities destroyed or damaged during flooding last June.

Groups Work to Bring Business Back to Flood Areas

Jan 13, 2017
Josh Saul / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Organizations from around the state gathered at Marshall University Friday to discuss the next step in rebuilding the communities ravaged by the June 2016 flooding.

The one-day summit in Huntington focused on ways to improve the devastated economies in regions of the state where flooding took not only homes, but also businesses and schools. Jenny Gannaway, is the Executive Director of the West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster group, which hosted the event. 

Marshall University
Wikipedia / en.wikipedia.org

A conference at Marshall University will focus on long-term recovery efforts following last summer's devastating flooding in West Virginia.

The conference will be held Friday at Marshall's Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall in Huntington.

Nicholas County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

Nicholas County's public schools superintendent has recommended that officials open just one school to replace two flood-damaged middle schools and build another school to consolidate a flood-damaged high school with the currently open Nicholas County High School and Nicholas County Career and Technical Center.

Superintendent Donna Burge-Tetrick made her recommendations during the county's school board meeting Monday night, explaining that it "saddens" her to have to recommend consolidation.

Flood, Elkview
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A shopping center where a bridge was washed away by flooding last summer is to be sold at public auction.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Elkview Crossings Mall is scheduled for trustee's sale at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 24.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Ten tiny homes lined up in two rows at the National Guard air base in Charleston recently. West Virginia high school students built the homes for victims of the June, 2016, historic flooding who were still struggling to find adequate housing.

Six W.Va. Stories to Watch in 2017

Dec 30, 2016
Frances Brundage / Wikimedia Commons

Front Porch hosts Scott Finn, Laurie Lin, and Rick Wilson tell us which stories they'll be following in 2017:

Flood, Clendenin
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A National Weather Service meteorologist called it a "1-in-1,000-year" storm. By the time it was over, 23 West Virginians were dead.

Flooding that ravaged the state in late June was voted the No. 1 news story in 2016 in West Virginia by Associated Press member newspapers and broadcasters.

Flood, Elkview
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A federal judge says a third-party officer will oversee construction of a replacement bridge at a Kanawha County shopping center after the old bridge was washed away by floods.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston in Charleston placed the Elkview Crossings mall in receivership Tuesday. Court-appointed officer Martin Perry will put the culvert bridge project out for bid and oversee its construction. Details of Perry's role in the mall's operations are still being worked out.

West Virginia lawmakers say the state is receiving $87 million more from the federal government to help recover from deadly flooding over the summer.

The funding is from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program.

tiny house
Steven Walling / Wikimedia Commons

Some West Virginia residents whose homes were destroyed by last summer's floods are getting new places to live.

The Department of Education says 12 career and technical centers across the state have built small homes for families whose lives were torn apart.

Homes for West Virginia

Christmas this year will mark six months since June’s historic floods that devastated more than 4,000 homes and took 23 lives. For those still recovering, especially those who lost loved ones, the holidays can be more painful than joyful. 

”My husband loved Christmas. I mean, our house used to be decorated so bad that the electric company would send us a Christmas card,” said Deborah Nicely. You might recognize Nicely’s name. Her husband, daughter and grandson all died when the floods washed away their home.

Debris covers the floor of the Richwood Middle School art room. Floodwaters completely blew out the large glass window exposing the classroom to the outdoors.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Some Nicholas County residents are concerned that two Richwood schools which closed after devastating floods won't be rebuilt in the area.

According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Nicholas County Schools Superintendent Donna Burge-Tetrick said last week that a decision on where the schools will be located won't be made until she collects the appropriate information.

Flood, Elkview
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Commerce says more than $1.4 million has been awarded to small businesses in 11 counties in the state's long-term recovery initiative following last June's flooding.

According to the department, more than 100 applications were submitted shortly after the program was announced to help businesses stay open.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Children are still coping with the emotional aftermath of the June 2016 floods that devastated most of the central and southern parts of West Virginia, according to the nonprofit Save the Children. 

In the weeks following the floods, Save the Children provided support to more than 44,000 children and caregivers, according to a press release. Starting in December, the nonprofit will launch its Journey of Hope program in the state’s five most heavily affected counties Clay, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Nicholas and Roane.