Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 10, 2014

Hundreds help flood victims by giving tetanus shots, distributing thousands of meals

By CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PANTHER — Health officials administered another round of tetanus shots Monday to flood victims in McDowell County as recovery efforts in the hard-hit Panther community stretched into a new week.

To date, more than 200 people have helped with the ongoing recovery efforts, according to John Sidote, a public information officer for the McDowell County 911 Center. Help also is flowing into the community. As of Monday, more than 1,000 meals had been distributed to flood victims in the Panther, Bull Creek and Trap Fork areas by the American Red Cross. And the Red Cross has distributed another 4,500 snacks to flood victims in the area.

The Red Cross also has distributed more than 100 clean-up kits as well as almost a thousand bulk items such as water and hand sanitizer, Red Cross spokeswoman Krista Farley said. The Red Cross also has four emergency response vehicles and about 20 Red Cross workers stationed in the Panther area.

Sidote said tetanus shots were administered, once again, Monday by the McDowell County Health Department at Betty’s Diner in Bull Creek. He said crews with the West Virginia Division of Highways also are continuing to make road repairs in the area. And crews with the West Virginia National Guard also are still assisting with the flood-recovery efforts.

“I talked to (state Homeland Security Director) Jimmy Joe (Gianato) yesterday,” Sidote said. “He said they had close to 200 people working down here. This is one of the greatest responses we have had. It’s really been a big effort.”

Heavy rain and flood waters damaged homes and roads in the Panther, Bull Creek and Trap Fork communities during the early morning hours of June 5. McDowell County also was hard hit by floods in 2001, 2002 and 2003.