On, June 23, 2016, Rainelle, West Virginia, received 10 inches of rain. The rain sent rivers of flood waters across roadways and into homes, which has left at least 24 dead and many others missing. As of late Saturday, June 25, President Obama reportedly signed a disaster declaration, allowing the use of federal funding to help the flood victims in three counties throughout West Virginia, according to CBS Evening News.
According to “The Wall Street Journal,” Obama’s signature on this declaration allows the necessary residents to receive aid for temporary housing, home repairs, and low-cost loans that will cover uninsured property losses. There are also federal monies being given to help the state and local government, on what they call a cost-sharing basis.
State Trooper C.S. Hartman has stated, that the houses look like war zones from the inside. There are search and rescue teams, both on foot and by boat, who are going door to door, in the small town of Rainelle, West Virginia. There have been at least 24 confirmed dead. Rescue crews are searching for anyone who has survived. Hartman expressed concern that among the destruction there will be more bodies found.
The federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Guard were called in to help the 44 counties that have been affected by the flood. The consensus is that thousands are without power and about 100 homes, thus far, have significant damage or destroyed. According to officials, flood waters reached the some of the rooftops in the area.
One of the flood survivors, Becky McClug, states that “everyone has lost everything.” Going on to show that she is struggling with the devastation of her home. She had lived there 20 years and the flood took it. She had to trash most of her belongings.
According to “The Wall Street Journal,” there are more than 24,000 homes and businesses that are still without power, as of Saturday. Also reported, is that the water in the Clendenin area is still not running. The residents are filling up jugs at the West Virginia American Water Company to meet their basic needs.
As of June 28, 15 of the 16 deaths were in Greenbrier County, in the small town of Rainelle. In the small city of Kanawha six deaths were reported, as well as one in both Jackson and Ohio counties. The flood waters have caused at least 24 their lives in West Virginia, on June 23.
The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour, scheduled for July 4-10, was canceled. This event was to take place at the Greenbrier luxury resort. The PGA Tour Commissioner, Tim Finchem, released a statement on Saturday. He gave his condolences, as well as explained the reason that canceling the Greenbrier Classic was a prudent action in light of the recent flooding. He also stated that he is concerned with the well-being of the victims who are having to live through this tragedy.
Owner and CEO of the Greenbrier luxury resort Jim Justice, released a statement on Saturday saying, the resort is offering a limited number of free rooms to the victims of the flood. The resort is offering free meals, as well. Justice also stated that the resort is closed for business at this time.
By Tracy Blake
The Wall Street Journal: Obama Approves Federal Aid for West Virginia After Floods
CBS Evening News: Trooper: Flood-damaged West Virginia “looks like a war zone”
PBS News Hour: At least 24 dead in West Virginia floods
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