Remembering past floods, praying for latest affected

A column by Charles Owens, assistant managing editor of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph 


BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — Sometimes in life we simply try to forget about bad experiences. But images of those experiences — be it the death of a loved one, a car accident or a destructive flood — stick with us over the years. The deadly flooding disaster in West Virginia, and the ongoing flood recovery efforts, is something that many in our region can certainly relate to.

Last week marked the 15th anniversary of the horrific July 1, 2001, flood that ravaged parts of southern West Virginia, including McDowell County. Less than a year later, residents were still working to rebuild and recover when a second — and even deadlier flood — struck the region in May of 2002. A year later, flood waters ravaged neighboring Mercer County.

Having lived through all three floods, we realize that the recovery effort takes time. Greenbrier County, and other affected communities in West Virginia, will not be the same again overnight. As there was far too much damage, and too many lives lost, in this horrific disaster.

Life was simple on the morning of July 8, 2001…

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