June 25, 2016

WV flood update

I keep hearing from folks around the country asking about the situation here. This is the latest from the WV Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management:

Latest Saturday afternoon flood updates: 
- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today announced his request for a Federal Disaster Declaration has been granted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist West Virginians after extreme flooding on Thursday and Friday.
The declaration will provide individual assistance, which includes emergency medical support, housing and addresses a number of immediate needs, to residents in Kanawha, Greenbrier and Nicholas counties.
-The fatality count from the flooding has risen with the recovery of a body today found in Greenbrier County. This brings the fatality count from 23 (twenty-three) to 24 (twenty-four).
-16 found in Greenbrier County
-6 in Kanawha County
-1 in Ohio County
-1 in Jackson County
. -There are three Red Cross shelters and four supported shelters currently open. Meals, cleaning supplies, comfort kits, water and other supplies are being distributed. Health services and mental health services are also being provided. Anyone who needs assistance or find an open shelter can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or www.redcross.org.
-WV VOAD damage assessment teams will begin tomorrow and cleanup teams will begin on Monday.
-WV VOAD is sending cleanup kits, water and cleaning supplies to county emergency managers for them to distribute to their community.
-WV VOAD is setting up volunteer centers in Greenbrier, Nicholas, Fayette, Kanawha and Webster counties.
-The Council of Churches, Salvation Army and Red Cross are sending pastoral teams to affected counties.
-The Southern Baptist organization has set up a feeding station in Greenbrier and will be going tomorrow to Nicholas and Kanawha.
-West Virginia State Parks are offering discounted room rates to those affected and displaced by recent flooding. If you or someone you know is in need of lodging, please call your local park. To view a full park directory, visit: bit.ly/28VsKEY.

You can get the latest info on Twitter at  https://twitter.com/WVDHSEM or check out the Facebook page.

June 24, 2016

Dumb luck

This morning I got an email from a friend up north asking about the storms that devastated West Virginia yesterday. I was able to report that we got really lucky at Goat Rope Farm. We've seen a lot more damage where I live from a lot less rain, but this time around there were enough breaks between storms to let the water go down.

Many others weren't so lucky. Some parts of the state got nine inches of rain in a short time, which is way more than what is needed to kill people, flood out hollers wash out roads and bridges and destroy homes. The death toll from the storm is now 15 and it may go up and it looks like the worst of the damage was done to Richwood in Nicholas County.

You can check out some images of the storm here.

Let's just face it: the skies are getting scarier. And who knows how anybody's luck will hold out.

June 23, 2016

High water everywhere

As I write this, WV is in the midst of a scary storm, one that reminds me of this Dylan song. It looks like the town of Richwood in Nicholas County is being evacuated as nearby Summit Lake (in which I have nearly drowned several times in a way that seems eerily personal) overflows its banks. Weather like this keeps my eye on the creek and often means being flooded in or power outages. My best wishes to everyone dealing with that.

McDowell County, WV has been hit with other floods, literal and metaphorical. How to respond to one of the latest is the them of the latest Front Porch podcast.

Stay dry, y'all!

June 22, 2016

Maybe our theory was correct

The latest word from DHHS is that those who received health coverage via Medicaid expansion are happy with the coverage AND it's improving overall health. Excerpt:

"...compared with non-expansion states, enrollees in expansion states saw a 41 percent increase in preventive service visits in community health centers; access to Medicaid prescription drug refills increased 25.4 percent in states that expanded coverage, compared to only 2.8 percent in states that did not expand coverage; and cost-related barriers to dental care fell from 30 percent in 2013 prior to Medicaid expansion to 25 percent in 2014 post Medicaid expansion.  Finally, today’s report finds that in four Medicaid expansion states, the uninsured share of hospitalizations for people with HIV declined 60 percent compared to 8 percent in non-expansion states."

Golly, who would have guessed?

Meanwhile, welfare reform didn't work out so well over the long haul. I hate to say I told you so...

And it's not all bad news for child well-being in WV.

June 19, 2016

New resident

We interrupt Goat Rope's regularly scheduled program to announce a new resident/visitor to the farm.

It's a green heron that built a nest in a tree beside our pond. It's the heron equivalent of a hillbilly living by Golden Corral. Photo credit: the Spousal Unit.