Scene outside Rainelle United Methodist Church
It's been a while since the last post. Late last week, I went with a friend from the WV Council of Churches to visit flood stricken areas. The Council has been heavily involved in disaster response for years. We made it to Nicholas County and Rainelle in Greenbrier, We hoped to get to Rupert and White Sulfur Springs from Rainelle, but the road was blocked.
There was debris everywhere and often inches of mud on the streets and inside affected buildings.
Many schools, such as this one in Richwood, were heavily damaged.
There were many striking images of erosion and roads washed away.
And, while clear-cutting like that pictured above, wasn't directly responsible for the rain, it clearly didn't help.
Here are a few thoughts:
*The generosity of West Virginians is truly astonishing. There were many examples of people without a lot giving and doing whatever they could.
*The scary thing is that this didn't just affect low lying areas. There was so much water at one time that even homes on high ground were destroyed.
*I was deeply impressed by the Methodist pastors I spoke with who threw themselves into relief work in addition to their pastoral duties. And I know Methodists weren't the only ones. And I want to give a special shoutout to Team Rubicon, a veteran's disaster response group that really had its act together.
*At some point, can we start talking about climate change?
*There will be even more need for long term assistance when flood stories recede from the headlines.
*Finally, and sadly, there's a flash flood watch in effect for many of the hardest hit counties for tomorrow.