Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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June 8, 2014

McDowell residents continue cleanup, recover from flood

PANTHER — Flood recovery efforts are continuing in parts of McDowell County throughout the weekend as people continue to try and clean up after the flood.

Deputy Lyle Noe of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Department said, the flood was just as bad as the 2001 flood but it has affected less people.

“It is just as bad but just a smaller area, I think it seems worse because it was so isolated to just a few areas,” Noe said.

Bull Creek resident Cylde Lester said his neighbor woke him up at about 1:30 a.m., Thursday when the water started to rise.

“I was asleep, I didn’t even no what was going on until my neighbor woke me up. The water came all in my TV room and porch and flooded my car,” Lester said.

Friends of Lester were helping him clean up his yard and home.

“We have already had to tear all the carpet out of the living room and are drying out underneath of the house,” Lester said.

Randy Hunt, of Bull Creek, said he was lucky that the water did not come in his home.

“It came in the garage a little bit and my outbuildings, but the worst was it got in my well and water filters. I am working to try and get it fixed so we have clean water,” Hunt said.

Members of the National Guard were doing well-being checks and passing out supplies. They will be in the area for at least a week to help.

WV Volunteer Organization Active in Disaster will be in the area for as long as the need is there.

“We are here before, during and after,” WV-VOAD state chair Jenny Gannaway said. “We might be here two years from now helping someone rebuild their home, it just depends on what needs to be done.”

Last Thursday’s storm hit 13 years after the great flood of July 8, 2001, which destroyed hundreds of homes, businesses and even schools across McDowell County. When damage estimates were concluded, more than 1,500 structures had been damaged or destroyed in the July 8, 2001 flood.

Adding further insult to injury, a second flood ravaged McDowell County a year later — on May 2, 2013 — once again damaging hundreds of homes and businesses across the county.

Assistant Managing Editor Charles Owens contributed to this story.

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