RAINELLE,WV (WOAY) – June 23rd, 2018 marks the second year since the devastating aftermath of the 2016 floods. Though time has passed the area is still recovering.
Abandoned homes, broken glass and rubbish are just some of the everyday reminders citizens see that takes them back to that tragic day in the small town of Rainelle.
The area took a major hit from what is credited as the deadliest flood in West Virginia, killing 26 people.
James McCorick said, “My neighbor and his dog both drowned.”
That day on June 23rd, 2016 residents had no idea what they were about to encounter.
“I had anticipated maybe 6-8 inches but when you have water coming up the stairs to the second floor and wondering how far up, that’s when you start to know,”Fruits and Labors Bakery President, Tammy L. Jordan said.
After the worse was over hundreds of citizens were displaced from their homes. Many fled to local shelters the Greenbrier Resort also took people in.
Worried about the future of his home McCorick decided to stay. “We were eaten alive by fleas in the house and we stayed for two months. But there wasn’t much of a choice of places to go everything had a little damage.”
Eventually a turn around started happening as FEMA and other non-profits came to assist. April of 2018 McCorick received a new home through RISE West Virginia.
“Two years later I got a house so I can’t complain,” He notes. Though time has passed not everyone is lucky as McCorick.
Moose Lodge Administrator, Johnny Fox, “We still have our whole dance hall to re-insulate we had to rip out of the walls.”
Residents are hopeful that eventually the town will be able to get back to where it once was because founder John Raine once said “Rainelle is a town built to carry on”.