The pouring rain has stopped and the flood waters have receded, but southern West Virginia still faces the devastating effects of the worst flood in a century. In the town of Clendenin in Kanawha County, homes and buildings were complete destroyed. Cross into the neighboring counties of Fayette, Greenbrier, and Nicholas–and you’ll see much of the same.
In total, 24 deaths have been linked to the severe flooding.
Although most of the destruction is hours away, people in the Ohio Valley are grieving for their fellow West Virginians.
Today, Bishop Bransfield held mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Wheeling, asking parishioners to keep those suffering in their prayers.
“This is such a devastating effect on the poor, as you know, and so we pray for them, too,” preached Bishop Bransfield. “Many of us can just go live somewhere else and deal with what happened. Others cannot. It changes their lives, maybe for the rest of their lives.”
Some local organizations have been collecting donations of non-perishable food items, clothing, cleaning supplies, and money to be delivered to the southern counties.
The House of Carpenter in Wheeling dedicated their Saturday to collecting the donations–hoping to lend some aid to those in need.
“We will go down, work on the houses, and then we will continue to send teams over the next several months because this is going to be a long-term recovery process,” said Michael Linger, Executive Director of the House of Carpenter.
Some Ohio Valley natives are even making the trip down-state to volunteer with clean-up and relief efforts. Josh Dobbs of Marshall County is in Fayette County, helping collect and deliver water and supplies.
While West Virginians have pulled together to help our brothers and sisters in need, there is always more work to be done. If you’d like to volunteer, you can find opportunities at VolunteerWV.org.