Richwood flood victim will soon get new home after years in temporary housing

RICHWOOD, WV (WOAY) – For many in Richwood, West Virginia and across the state, life has not been the same since the 2016 floods. It certainly has not been the same for Douglas Williams who has been in temporary housing since. 

“It’s been mostly two years of uncertainty up to this point but now these guys have worked real hard to get me back under a roof and put me back in a home versus temporary housing,” Williams said. “It’s a little hard to be calling the tiny home ‘home.'”

But thanks to AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps working with West Virginia’s Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster program, he will soon be back in a home on the same plot of land where his flood and storm-damaged house used to be.

The AmeriCorps NCCC group arrived in Richwood on Thursday with only a foundation to work with and will be here for a month until the new house is finished. 

“I never though in a million years I’d be here in Richwood, West Virginia building a home in the mountains but here I am,” Sabrina Johnkins, the community relations representative for NCCC, said. “But I can speak for myself and everybody on my team that it’s just overall a really rewarding experience and we are so happy to be here and to help. We all have two hands that need to be put to work, so we’re happy to do it.”

Williams called the flood of 2016 traumatizing but after seeing people from all over the country come here to help him and his community, he says it means everything. 

“I know I’m not alone. There are other people in the state and the area that were affected by the flood. I hope that soon they see some progress, but these guys, they’re doing a super job. I think there’s one guy from Oregon here but they’ve come from all over the United States to do good by helping people like myself and others,” Williams said.

According to the team leader, while AmeriCorps NCCC is mainly focusing on Williams’ home, they will be doing independent day projects throughout the community on off days. 

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com