The Charleston Daily Mail published this editorial on June 5:
Barrels of ink and reams of newsprint have been expended on the troubles related to West Virginia's recovery from the June 2016 flood, as have hours of air time on broadcast outlets.
Delays and other problems with the RISE West Virginia program have dominated the news the past two weeks, but it wasn't just that state-run program whose delayed and inadequate response has been inexcusable.
Folks in Richwood and elsewhere in Nicholas County have just recently decided on new schools to replace their flood-damaged ones after lengthy argument among supporters of one school or another, difficulty with the state and county boards of education, and a power struggle between Richwood city council and mayor-or-not Bob Baber.
In Kanawha County, delays in decisions on the replacement of Herbert Hoover High School has students in the Clendenin area in limbo and the educational process interrupted.
Now is time - past time actually - for the Toby Keith solution: "A little less talk and a lot more action."
Fortunately, that may be what's happening with the RISE West Virginia program now. On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice transferred responsibility of that $150 million program to help homeowners rebuild under leadership of the West Virginia National Guard and adjutant general Maj. Gen. James Hoyer.
No need to rehash the many delays and places things went wrong and who may or may not have been responsible here, but the bigger and thornier question is: What is it about the decision-making process at the local, county and state level in West Virginia that so often causes horrific incidents like a major flood to become long, drawn-out crises?
Many West Virginia families suffered a tragedy, losing their homes, businesses or worse, on June 23, 2016. Scores of church groups, volunteers and other businesses, including some owned and operated by then private citizen Jim Justice, came to the flood victims' aid in the immediate aftermath.
That type of aid is supposed to be temporary, long enough for people to get back into their homes, get back to work and return to normal lives. Unfortunately, the government's flood recovery is another tragedy, and lawmakers, leaders and citizens must figure out how to work better to provide real results so natural disasters in West Virginia don't continue on ad nauseam as government-made tragedies.
Short-term disasters shouldn't morph into long-term tragedies.