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Editorial: One year later, hope endures in West Virginia

From The Bluefield Daily Telegraph:

A year ago today, devastating floodwaters ripped through Greenbrier County and other parts of the Mountain State. Lives were lost. Homes were destroyed. A federal disaster declaration was issued for a dozen counties. Not even the Greenbrier Resort was spared from the ravaging waters.

But despite the devastation, our neighbors to the north persevered. They never lost the faith. Like they always do in times of trouble, West Virginians reached out to help their neighbors in need.

Today, a year later, many are still rebuilding and trying to put their lives back together. The road to recovery continues. But hope endures.

Having lived through the great floods of 2001, 2002 and 2003, we feel for our neighbors to the north. In 2001 and 2002, we watched as homes, schools and dreams were washed away by ravaging flood waters in McDowell, Wyoming and Tazewell counties. A year later, in 2003, Mercer County was hit.

It took years for our region to recover. But we did. And we grew stronger. So will those affected by the Great Flood of 2016.

Floods, like fires and other disasters, turn lives upside down and hurt the sense of security that we all too often take for granted.

Recovering emotionally, physically and financially takes time after homes and businesses have been damaged or destroyed. Believing life will go on after a flood can be difficult once the losses are listed, but recovery is possible.

Today, one year later, life is slowly returning to normal for White Sulphur Springs and other communities ravaged by flood waters. The Greenbrier Classic, canceled last year as a result of the devastating flood, is returning this Fourth of July weekend. With the PGA Tour in town, the nation will see firsthand our ongoing recovery efforts.

West Virginians are strong. Through strength, faith and compassion, we endure and overcome great adversity.

The floods of June 2016 will be remembered for a long time, but one of the most important memories will be how people banded together to help one another.

God bless the great state of West Virginia, and all of those who are still struggling to recover from this horrific disaster.

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