From the Moorefield Examiner:
We’re so proud of you.
On Thursday, June 23, some 44 counties throughout West Virginia were hit by some of the worst floods in decades and many were declared disaster areas.
The worst flooding took place in Kanawha, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Fayette, Clay, Roane, Summers, and Monroe counties. Rock slides and roaring waters took out homes, roads, bridges and severely damaged businesses and schools.
Hardy County has been there. We faced that kind of disaster and we survived as did the 29 counties hit by the Flood of 1985. We stood in flood mud, searching for lost treasured pictures and heirlooms, lost family members, lost livestock, lost farmland, lost homes and businesses and wondered how on earth we would ever come back from the devastation.
But we did.
Some of the losses were never replaced and are mourned today, 30 years later. But businesses were rebuilt along with homes. Schools were cleaned and reopened for students. Bridges were rebuilt and repaired as were roads and railroads.
Those of you old enough don’t need to be reminded of the things that happened to Hardy County in ’85 and to the people who lived here. Nor do you need to be told how difficult it was. You know. You also know how important it was when total strangers brought food and supplies, helped clean our houses and business, helped to repair and rewire and paint and do whatever was needed.
Which brings us to now. Hardy County got a pass on this year’s flood, but that didn’t stop residents from immediately wanting to help those not so lucky.
What you may not know is that when a social media call went out for help the day after the recent flooding happened, residents and businesses from all over the county responded.
You brought food and clothing and books for children. You brought water and first aid products and diapers and sanitary products and cleaning products.
And thanks to South Branch Animal Hospital for remembering the four-legged victims. You gave money and you did it without anyone twisting arms or even having to ask a second time. The response was immediate and overwhelming and it kept coming.
Two days after the flood waters devastated parts of West Virginia, Hardy County sent six utility trailers and three pick-ups filled with materials badly needed and $3,500 in cash. Read that again . . . six utility trailer loads!
Think about it. Within 48 hours this rural county stepped up and responded to a need we had suffered ourselves and knew only too well what to send and what would be most helpful.
There was a column written for the Press Association last week which asked when would the flood recovery end? The response was when the elderly women stop crying.
For our flooded friends in West Virginia we might add to that. The flood recovery won’t end until a rain storm doesn’t make you afraid. It won’t end until you can’t smell flood mud when you step into your yard. It won’t end until there are no more corners of flood mud which show up unexpectedly when you clean and when the house dries out. It won’t end until the children stop having nightmares and sports events are back on the home field or court. It won’t end until precious toys are found.
The flood recovery won’t end until rivers are back in their banks and the river banks are repaired. It won’t end until cattle are once again grazing the fields and the crops are safe to eat.
And it won’t end until both the elderly and the young stop tearing up when talking about the flood or being reminded of it. That’s when the flood recovery will end. In other words, there are some things about flood recovery that never end.
We thank Carol and Robert Zuber for starting the ball rolling. We thank all of you who answered the call. We thank the businesses and individuals who gave so generously. We thank the people across Hardy County who brought the needed supplies, money and manpower to get the job done.
Plus we want you to know that we are truly proud of the response from Hardy County. Carol said, she was paying back for the kindness and help she and her family received in 1985, but it turned into paying it forward.
Carol also said it was a team effort with help from local firemen, emergency organizations, the Believer’s Victory Center, many individuals and businesses, and more. After this first rapid response there were immediately more disaster collections at the Moorefield Church of the Brethren, A&A Express Mart, Energy Express and some we don’t know about.
This is Hardy County at its best.