Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 7, 2014

Cleanup begins

Flood waters recede leaving destruction

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PANTHER — Clean up in the Panther area continued Friday after a flood destroyed many homes and other property.

Teresa VanDyke, McDowell County 911 director, said Friday was used for preliminary assessments to see what kind of damage had been done and what was going to be needed to help the residents.

“Since we have already assessed the damage, today is being used for getting people supplies. There are some roads that we could not even get down so we will be sending the National Guard in to do well-being checks and get supplies to these people,” VanDyke said.

Many of the roads in Bull Creek, Mud Fork and Trap Fork were collapsing due to the damage from the flood.

DOH workers in Mud Fork were working to repair a pipe so residents could get in and out. The road had completely caved in and residents could not get in or out.

Mud Fork resident Nelly Lester had a garage full of mud that neighbors were helping her clean out.

“This is the worst flood I have seen in all my years here. My garden is completely ruined,” Lester said.

The McDowell County Health Department was also giving out free tetanus shot to anyone that had an open cut or wound and had come in contact with the flood water, VanDyke said.

Approximately 80 people had taken advantage of getting a shot.

Although no shelters have been set up, people are in need of water and cleaning supplies, VanDyke said.

“We have offered to set up a shelter, but no one has wanted to stay,” VanDyke said.

W.Va. Volunteer Organization Active in Disasters, Red Cross and the National Guard are helping to deliver food and supplies to people who need them.

“We have had so many wonderful donations including water, gatorade, shovels, lime, straw, buckets, hand sanitizer, trash bags and much more,” Jenny Gannaway, state chair for WV-VOAD said.

The Red Cross was also handing out water, shovels and buckets full of cleaning supplies.

Mohawk resident Johnny Lockhart was at the Red Cross bus collecting some supplies to help clean up his home.

“It went all in the bottom of my home, vehicle and everything else,” Lockhart said. “I  am very grateful for all the help people are providing us.”

— Contact Anne Elgin at