If you had to bet on one, I would say Shepherdstown was probably founded first, simply because it's on an important thoroughfare connecting the Shenandoah Valley to the important Delaware ports, where a lot of European migrants, principally Scots Irish and German migrants, were arriving in the 18th century. So it's likely that these migrants arrived at the banks of the Potomac River in the valley before they arrived in the South Branch Valley. So it's likely that Shepherdstown was founded earlier.
Two weeks after historic flooding in the Kanawha County town of Clendenin destroyed or damaged homes, churches, and even town hall, the people who live there are still working to clear mud and debris from the homes and city streets.
There are two donation collection locations set up for the town of about 1,200, one across the street from the damaged post office that’s now closed. Workers are handing out mail from a temporary trailer parked next to a tent full of food and cleaning supplies.
“The day after it happened, it looked worse than a war zone,” Clendenin Mayor Gary Bledsoe said Wednesday. “The streets were almost impassible, but now we’ve got the streets all open. They’re still a little dirty, but other than that, we’re getting the infrastructure put back together.”
Floodwater in Clendenin reached historic levels after the Elk River topped out at 33 feet, breaking a record set in 1888.
Bledsoe said his office in town hall took on 3 and a half feet of water and destroyed some city records.
Total damage estimates have yet to come in, but Bledsoe expects them to be more than the town can handle on its own. He’ll rely on state and federal aid to rebuild his community.
“This was a catastrophe, not just a devastation. It’s a catastrophe. I hope we never see anything like this again,” he said. “They say it’s a thousand year flood, let’s hope it is.”
Almost every business in town– 99 percent in Bledsoe’s words– was destroyed in the flooding. The mayor doesn’t expect to see any income from business and occupation taxes for at least another 12 months- that’s 40 percent of the city budget gone.
On this West Virginia Morning, hundreds from close to home and around the nation attended the memorial service for slain West Virginia State Police Sgt. Cory Maynard. Randy Yohe spoke with some of those who came to honor the life and legacy of a beloved trooper who was shot and killed in the line of duty last Friday.