Prayers To Those In W.Va. Disaster
Wow, unbelievable, amazing! I’ve never ever seen anything like the aftermath from last week’s flooding.
After a longtime friend called me to tell me about the flooding, I took a trip down south on Friday afternoon and Saturday. I just could not believe my eyes.
The damage is widespread and some of the areas may never get built back. We were very lucky here locally. We have hard rains, but nothing compared to what hit just 50 miles south in the Ravenswood and Ripley area. The farther south I went, the worse it was.
I never knew what was in store for me on Friday. When I got up, I had planned to have a regular day covering sports.
I headed out to TCHS to watch some football as the Silver Knights hosted a 7-7 football scrimmage with Paden City. After that, it was to Paden City to get a preview of the local volleyball teams as the Wildcats had their annual summer spike out. Seemed like a normal day as I was at the gym.
Then my phone rang and a long time friend, who lives near Rannelle, called and said, “If you can get here, you should come see this mess.” He said the roads are gone, bridges washed out, schools ruined, businesses wiped out, homes gone, nothing is left, people have died and many are missing. My friend lives on a hill about 25 feet above the creek and the water was within inches of his house. He lost two vehicles and a four wheeler.
While our kids here were enjoying the summer tournaments, down south they were not as fortunate. Many ball parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, high school baseball and football fields were destroyed.
I saw several schools deluged with water, mud and debris. Herbert Hoover High School was completely ruined. Years of work put into football fields and school facilities for naught.
Some areas were not accessible and we had to detour. Nine inches of rain hit White Sulfur Springs. The water was running so fast near Summersville it looked like an ocean of water. The force was unreal.
I remember a few years ago when we got two inches of rain in a couple hours and Paden City had lots of water in basements and homes. The streets, including Route 2, were flooded. I can not even comprehend what it would be like if we would receive nine inches of rain over such a short period of time. We were under a flood warning, but for some reason (only God knows why) it hit just south of us. We had hard rains, but not like they had.
Please, if you can give to the relief effort, do so. Some of these folks have lost everything they had. This storm caused more damage than any weather event I have ever seen. If you can’t give and even if you can, please spend some time in prayer for these poor people.
There are many local places to drop of supplies, food and cash. The Tyler County Office of Emergency Management under Tom Cooper’s direction is coordinating the relief effort from our area. If you can help in anyway, contact Cooper’s office in Middlebourne or just go to a drop-off place. It will make you feel good and could be the difference in helping a family in need.
Some of the schools in the flooding have lost everything – trophy cases gone, records destroyed or missing, school buses ruined. This is big, I mean big! You can’t imagine it unless you see it first hand. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and if that’s so, seeing it with your own eyes is worth a million.
Having lived in Cleveland for the first 10 years of my life, I was going to write my column this week on the big parade after the Cavaliers won the NBA championship. I drove up to visit a cousin and we made our way to the city, only to find the traffic, crowd and lack of parking too much to deal with. We did, however, hit a local favorite sports pub and took it all in on TV. More on that later.
Nothing however, including Cleveland’s championship and parade, can even compare to some of the worst flooding in West Virginia history. I have seen several of New Martinsville’s floods from the river, but multiply those by 10 and they still can’t compare to this flood.
As extensive and widespread as the damage is, the saddest part is the injuries and loss of life. Parents have lost children and children have lost parents. If you see any of our local volunteers and first responders, thank them for their efforts in helping to restore a normal way of life for our friends and neighbors to the southeast of our area.
Prayers, Prayers and more Prayers.