SMITHERS, WV (WOAY) – “I’ve lived in this area my whole life, so 38 years, and I’ve never seen it flood this bad,” Volunteer and resident of Smithers, Megan Angel says.
The people of Smithers are still cleaning up mud, debris, and belongings that got washed away in Monday’s rainstorm that led to severe flooding.
And they are not alone. After other parts of the region were also underwater, Governor Justice declared a state of emergency for Fayette and Kanawha counties.
The flooding resulted in fallen trees, power outages, and damage to over 100 homes and infrastructure. Smithers creek was one of the area creeks to overflow Monday morning, and residents there, unfortunately, saw some of the worst of it.
“The worst parts were Cannelton and Smithers, and Gauley Bridge got it really bad too, actually,” she adds.
Some got trapped in their homes and on their streets due to collapsed bridges. Local emergency rescue crews teamed up to help people who were trapped. They were thankful there were no deaths or serious injuries.
But, now, several volunteers around the region are coming together to help provide relief for the Smithers community.
A flood relief station was set up at Valley Pre K through 8 where needed supplies such as water and cleaning products were being delivered. Showers and a place to stay were also being provided at the shelter.
Whether a resident of Smithers or not, everyone was grateful to come together in a time of need.
“I have done this for 21 years, and our county and surrounding counties always come through, always,” says Volunteer Shelter Coordinator, Libby Lucas. “We’ve had volunteers from Nicholas County, from Clay County, this is what West Virginia does, they come together, as you can see, it’s going to start getting busy.”
Senator Stephen Baldwin (D-Greenbrier-10th district) was expected to be bringing in shovels to help with the clean-up effort.
The town of Smithers is accepting donations. They are especially in need of towels, washcloths, baby supplies, and cleaning supplies. You can make the checks payable to the City of Smithers.
They urge anyone who was exposed to the water to shower immediately.