A year ago this Friday the town of Rainelle was under water and flood recovery groups are still rebuilding till this day. Appalachian Service Project Flood Recovery Coordinator Chris Schroeder told us, “ASP initial commitment after the flood happened was to be here doing disaster relief, disaster recovery, new home construction for two years.” And that is exactly what they have been doing.
Many homes still covered in mud, water almost up to the ceiling. It left many people scrambling, including an 81 year old woman who lost everything. Mamie Martin of Rainelle told us, “It’s been a long year I know that, I don’t know how to explain it, it’s just been hard.” It wasn’t until May 4th Mamie moved back into her home after living in a FEMA trailer for nine straight months. Mamie added, “It was alright but it wasn’t home. I walk over here everyday and see how much work they did on my house. I finally got in, it’s real nice, I thank everyone.”
One man who has had his business in Rainelle for forty-one years, drew a line on the wall that day to remember how high up the water was. He said the shop still has not been recovered just yet. Paul Raines owner of Western Auto said, “We’ve tried to get most of the fast moving items back in and we’re still in the process of getting our inventory straightened out. We are coming along, like I said a lot of people had it worse than we did.”
However, a year later that is not stopping the people of Rainelle from being optimistic about the recovery of their small town. Mayor of Rainelle Andrea Pendleton added, “Just have to be patient and courageous and keep moving. But, I think people feel good about the future of Rainelle.