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As water recedes, community joins together

By CARTER WALKER

Times West Virginian

MANNINGTON, W.Va. — Residents of Mannington pulled together Sunday in an effort to clean up after the devastating flood that hit the area early Saturday morning.

Gov. Jim Justice speaks to a small crowd at the Mannington Fire Department.
(Photo by Carter Walker)

At Blackshere Elementary School, first-grade teacher Theresa Michael led the relief effort in the school’s gym. Locals who were not as severly impacted by the waters dropped of supplies for their neighbors who were.

“I don’t know that there’s a person here that didnt get hit (by the water),” Michael said. “The downtown area, the businesses, all got hit very hard. They had 5 to 6 feet of water in their businesses, and the residents around had 5 to 6 feet in their basements and houses.”

Michael said the school will be open with supplies throughout the week and into next week from 9 a.m to dusk.

“We just wanted to be here to do something to help them out,” Michael said.

Kayla Brown, a resident of Mannington, said the waters flooded her basement and ruined her mother’s bed and other belongings.

“We were blocked in for hours,” Brown said.

She added that while her home only experienced a few inches of water, her cousin lost her trailer and her other cousin had 5 feet of water in her basement.

Over at North Marion High School, the Red Cross and National Gaurd set up an emergency relief outpost. Supplies including blankets, cleaning materials, shovels, cloths and even baby food will be available to those in need throughout the week.

For individuals whose homes are in an uninhabitable condition, the high school is acting as a temporary shelter with cots and hot showers, Red Cross worker Kim Prichard said. The shelter will also be providing hot meals for those in need between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day.

“It’s been an outpouring,” Principal Rusty DeVito said of the support she has seen. “The communities have been awesome about helping out and bringing stuff.”

In addition to the supplies received from surrounding communities and the donations made by local churches, DeVito said the North Marion football team had been out with coach Daran Hays helping residents clean up their homes.

At 1 p.m., two-star General Jim Hoyer with the National Gaurd arrived via helicopter to help coordinate relief efforts.

Hoyer said that National Guard teams will be coming around the area in the next few days to pick up debris as well as asses damage, which will begin Wednesday. The Marion County Department of Homeland Security said that the National Guard will be doing curbside pick up today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If residents miss the collection, they should call Marion County Department of Homeland Security at 304-363-5062 or 304-363-5079.

Hoyer said that residents should be documenting everything they have lost from the flood with pictures and to have their belongings by the curb ready to be picked up.

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