West Virginia Flood waters of Change 2016


It has been a very long hard couple of days for friends and family all over my beloved state. It seems as if God opened the floodgates of destruction on some of the most fragile and isolated communities of Southern West Virginia. If they had little before the flood waters rushed into homes and businesses last Thursday, then there is nothing left at all today.

As volunteers, Red Cross, National Guard units and Department of Highways workers rush to the southern portion of West Virginia the reports of loss get larger and harder to hear. The reality is starting to sink in that tomorrow will not be easier than today. That home is no longer home and never will be. That this historic flood was not just a single stream overflowing or even a town that got several street full of water but, county after county is destroyed…. whole towns have been wiped from the maps or our lives.

I am sure that when all the information is totaled this will be listed as the third most deadly flood in our state’s history and the 2nd most deadly caused by nature. Worst on the list is the Buffalo Creek Flood in Logan County, Feb. 26, 1972. The flood was caused by Pittston Coal Company’s coal slurry impoundment dam #3 when it gave way after several inches of rain fell along Buffalo Creek Hollow killing 125 and covering 16 small coal towns in black sludge water.



Then followed by the Election Day Flood Nov. 1985. The flood was concentrated in northern mountainous portion of the state around the area where I have lived for the last 20 years. The flood was storm related and killed 47 West Virginians. My family was lucky to not suffer damage to property during the flood but spent several days trapped due to high water.

It seems to me that flooding is just part of living in West Virginia. You can not have our high mountains and low hollows without the water to carve them. You can not live with the lush green hardwoods without the water that falls year round. So it is our plight to constantly keep an eye on the river and her course. We all in West Virginia know her power and know that the flooding is a small price to pay to remain within her mountains and hollows. Rebuilding is not a question, it is when that is the issue that hundred face in West Virginia today.

Categories: Appalachian Mountains, Change, community service, Flooding, historic locations, history, rural life, Travel, weather, West Virginia | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

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17 thoughts on “West Virginia Flood waters of Change 2016

  1. Glad to know that you and yours are safe enough; so sorry that so many of your fellow West Virginians have lost so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Bruce… we are safe and dry… the worst of the flooding was about an hour and half south of here. My husband is working on clean up as many of my co-workers are also.


  2. Nature can be pretty scary!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How awful. And here I am in Michigan suffering a drought and wishing for rain. This puts the saying, “Be careful what you wish for” in a whole new perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wendy Bynum

    So glad you are ok, take care and be safe. It’s hurricanes down here that flood us and a tornado or 2 are with them. What so ever time I am afraid (of the weather), LORD, I trust in thee.


  5. How well I remember the flood of ’85. I was 10 years old in Petersburg, and we didn’t have school for more than a month.


  6. Can’t even imagine the devastation and loss of these poor families. Prayers for all!!


  7. It’s been a ruff month for WV.
    Good luck and happy gardening


  8. I’ve been following this on the news, and in the area papers I read on-line. I feel so bad. JoLynn, especially when I read how fast the water came up in some areas. It doesn’t seem that people had a chance to get out. Our thoughts and prayers are with the good people of WV.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan from what I understand the areas affected received more rain than in the 1985 flood in a shorter time. So Tom and Cody are both working this weekend with clean up crews.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jack

    I heard about this flood yesterday And I was wondering about you. Im glad your safe, and Im sorry about the loss for the people involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. nancy

    My husband was born in clay county west va 71 years ago. We live in ohio, this has hurt us deeply we just went out and bought water and canned goods. His sister is taking it down friday. Our prayers are with the people that are surviving this horrible situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks Nancy Clay is one of the hardest hit areas and is one of the last counties to get the help they need… my husband and son are both working with relief work with the state so my family will be celebrating the 4th in the mud


  11. I was working at the hospital for three days straight during this (mostly because the roads washed out to get home but also because there was such a demand for services). West Virginia has really come together though. It’s a beautiful state full of wonderful people.


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