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Governor tells Rainelle, ‘We’ll get through this’

Register-Herald photo by Chris Jackson  Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin hugs Rainelle Mayor Andy Pendleton as Al B. Lewis, right, the FEMA state coordinator for the flooding, waits to speak with the governor after flying in on a helicopter to survey the damage in Rainelle on Monday.
Register-Herald photo by Chris Jackson
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin hugs Rainelle Mayor Andy Pendleton as Al B. Lewis, right, the FEMA state coordinator for the flooding, waits to speak with the governor after flying in on a helicopter to survey the damage in Rainelle on Monday.

RAINELLE, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin got his first look at the damage sustained here Thursday when the waters of two creeks rose out of their banks and converged into a deluge, trapping some residents and soaking homes and businesses.

With 17 deaths, Greenbrier County was the hardest hit in the flooding. At least three of those deaths occurred in the Rainelle area. Nearly all the missing are now accounted for, Tomblin said.

“It’s so sad to see,” Tomblin said. “It’s so widespread. This is one of the roughest floods we’ve seen.”

So widespread, in fact, state officials don’t yet have an estimate on the damage. The governor said they are still trying to determine that amount. In Rainelle, 90 percent of the homes and businesses “have had a lot of damage…

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