Inside Appalachia: West Virginia’s 1,000 Year Flood


In this special television broadcast of Inside Appalachia with host Jessica Lilly, WVPB brings you the stories of heroism and survival in towns like Richwood, Rainelle, and Clendenin. Residents and community leaders share their stories of loss and resilience.

The National Weather Service called the June 2016 flooding in southern West Virginia an exceptional meteorological event, a vicious line-up of storms that came in simultaneously from multiple directions.

Almost 8 inches of rain fell in some spots in just 12 to 18 hours. That amount of rain in such a short time period is something expected once in 1,000 years, according to the NWS.

The area damaged in southern West Virginia is unprecedented.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting reporters fan out throughout southern West Virginia, assessing the damage, following recovery efforts, and documenting the monumental task of cleaning-up.

Listen to interviews of volunteers who felt compelled to gather needed supplies, and come help.

The program features behavioral health specialists discussing help available for dealing with trauma from natural disasters. The broadcast also examines the state’s plan forward to rebuild these devastated communities with a conversation with Adjunct General, Major General James Hoyer of the WV National Guard, now Chief Recovery Coordinator, appointed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.


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We would like to thank and acknowledge the underwriters of Inside Appalachia – West Virginia’s 1000 Year Flood: Catholic Charities West Virginia, West Virginia University, and Concord University.