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. 

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West Virginia Public Broadcasting

During the heavy rains earlier this summer, sewers systems overflowed and even broke, pastures flooded and rivers breached their banks. All this water mingled into a contaminated soup of surface water, sewage and chemicals. As one public health expert put it – anything that was on the road during the flood had the possibility of getting in the water.

Residents who lived or worked in a dozen West Virginia counties during last month's devastating floods may be eligible for disaster-related food stamps.

The Department of Health and Human Resources says in a news release that residents who aren't normally eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program may qualify for the benefits due to life-changing issues. Those include inability to access money in checking or savings accounts, unreimbursed disaster-related expenses and lost or reduced in income as a result of the floods.

Ken Kendrick
Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press

West Virginia University says a challenge by Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick has helped bring in more than $300,000 for flood-relief efforts in southern West Virginia.

Kendrick is a WVU alumnus. He said last month he would match contributions to the WVU Foundation dollar-for-dollar up to $500,000.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Natural disasters such as the historic floods West Virginia experienced in late June can be particularly frightening for children.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra reports from Boone County where the board of education there approved drastic cuts to the school system’s budget.  In the Eastern Panhandle, reporter Liz McCormick is an avid gamer and she explains the new game Pokémon GO.

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

wvflood.com
wvflood.com

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says residents can visit a website that's been set up to keep everyone informed about flood recovery and volunteer efforts.

Tomblin said in a news release that users can find recovery resources and link people who want to help with the most urgent needs.

West Virginia emergency officials say state and Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster recovery centers are changing their hours starting Sunday.

The centers will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Saturday, but starting next week, new operating hours will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says the centers will be closed on Sundays, including this Sunday.

Muddy cars sit in front a flooded-out home on Saturday, June 25, 2016, in Clendenin, in northern Kanawha County, W.Va.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia residents considering the purchase of a used vehicle should use extra caution in light of last month's flooding.

That's the advice of state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who says buyers should watch out for offers that seem too good to be true.

Flood
Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As of July 13th, the American Red Cross says it has provided more than 2,300 overnight stays, delivered over 194,000 meals and snacks and distributed more than 132,000 bulk items—such as bleach, water and clean-up kits.

The Red Cross says this weekend members of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation—a world-wide volunteer-based humanitarian organization—will be distributing debit cards to those pre-approved families which suffered damages from flooding. Applicants must bring a photo ID and proof of residence. All assistance is in addition to that offered by FEMA and/or the Red Cross.

Roane County Floods
Jeff Fetty

West Virginia has secured a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to offer 250 temporary jobs for flood disaster clean-up activities in the 12 counties under the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster declaration. The program will be administered through WorkForce West Virginia.

Steve Herber / Associated Press

West Virginians who are trying to rebuild their lives from last month's severe floods could be almost completely reliant on federal agencies.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the state's role in helping homeowners, businesses and local governments rebuild from last month's deadly floods could be limited by slumping tax revenue and budget constraints.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Four schools in Kanawha County suffered damage after historic flooding late last month and as a result, the state is taking special action to make sure some of the affected students can return to class by the start of the semester. 

West Virginia Board of Education members approved a proposal from Kanawha County Schools Thursday that will allow students from Elkview Middle School and Herbert Hoover to attend only a half day of school when they start classes on August 3.

Flood
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick and some of her staff are trying to help flood victims and absorbing some of the expense they might face.

McCormick said in a news release that as a result of the June 23 flooding, people aren't being charged for copies of deeds for affected properties. As of this week, 29 people have received copies of deeds at no expense.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, the state director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says a flood prevention plan drafted in 2004 hasn’t been collecting dust on a shelf.  Some of the recommendations were implemented and Ashton Marra reports from the state board of education where members are considering a takeover of schools in Boone County. 

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

Muddy cars sit in front a flooded-out home on Saturday, June 25, 2016, in Clendenin, in northern Kanawha County, W.Va.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin says it will be some time before the state has fully recovered after devastating floods in late June. He says he anticipates the damage to well-exceed $100 million.

Governor Tomblin held a press conference Wednesday to update the state on the status of recovery efforts in West Virginia.

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.

Downtown Richwood, WV, at dawn after hours of heavy rain flooded the little town.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it's securing an unspecified number of mobile homes to house some of those displaced by West Virginia's deadly floods.

The temporary homes will be used to shelter flood victims in hard-hit Kanawha and Greenbrier counties. Flooding in late June claimed 23 lives and devastated numerous homes and businesses.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, reporter Anne Li visits one of the towns devastated by last month’s flood to find out how many residents there had flood insurance and host Beth Vorhees talks with the Executive Director of the Tamarack Foundation about a recent study of the state’s artisan community. 

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

Anne Li/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 West Virginians are no stranger to flooding, but when it comes to flood insurance, it's a different story. Even though floods are the fastest-growing and costliest natural disaster, in all counties in West Virginia, roughly less than five percent of households have flood insurance. 

Greenbrier Resort
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

The Greenbrier's 710-room hotel is reopening to the public more than two weeks after the West Virginia resort's property was ravaged by floods.

Resort owner and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice announced last week that the hotel in White Sulphur Springs will welcome back paying guests on Tuesday, July 12.

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