Around 300 homes and businesses were damaged by the March 15 flash flooding that hit Mud Fork, Verdunville, Mount Gay and Coal Branch in Logan County. Victims have been digging out and cleaning up since the raging waters receded late Thursday. (Photo | Michael Browning)
MUD FORK — Logan County flood victims are cleaning up and digging out, less than a week after flash flooding caused widespread damage and destruction.
Nearly 300 homes and businesses were damaged as a result of Thursday’s flash flooding that hit the Mud Fork, Verdunville, Coal Branch and Mount Gay areas.
On Tuesday, there was a lot of activity in the floodzones.
West Virginia National Guard members and volunteers are in each community doing cleanup work. Traffic is being stalled in Mud Fork due to the debris pickup and motorists can expect major traffic delays in that community until 5:30 p.m. each evening.
The National Guard will be doing curbside pickup of the flood debris in the flooded communities. They cannot come onto private property, so all flood debris must be moved to the curbside, according to Logan County Emergency Services Deputy Director Sonya Porter.
The West Virginia State Police sent in 53 cadets to help with the cleanup. Those cadets are being used in homes owned by senior citizens so that those victims feel safe, according to Logan County Family Resource Network Official Shannon Meade, who is coordinating volunteer efforts with WVSP Sgt. Bryan Brown of the Logan detachment.
The cadets, easily identified by their orange vests and cadet hats, were busy this afternoon loading cleaning supplies into vehicles at the Verdunville Church of God, which was nearly flooded.
Starting today at 10 a.m. and running to 2 p.m., the Logan County Health Department will give tetanus shots for flood water and sludge exposures on Wednesday at the Appalachian Dream Center in Holden, which will, today, become the focal point for flood donations.
The Dream Center will also become the distribution center for all goods, including cleaning supplies and clothes. The distribution center had been at the Verdunville Church of God, but, due to traffic congestion in that area and a desire to serve every flood victim, the supplies giveaway will be moved today to Holden. Hot meals will still be served at the church and food boxes will be available at the Appalachian Dream Center starting today.
“The church will continue to offer hot meals for flood victims,” Porter said.
Roads in the Verdunville, Mud Fork and Coal Branch areas are still in disrepair and students who live in those areas are excused from school, no matter where they attend. Verdunville Elementary School, which had several students stranded in it during the flooding, is still closed today. All other schools in Logan County are operating on their regular schedules.
Those flood victims who need to report damages, or those who need assistance with food, shelter, water and other items, or have health concerns should call 304-752-0917, according to Porter.
The Verdunville Post Office, which received flood damage, will remain closed until further notice. All mail for Verdunville residents can be picked up at the Mount Gay Post Office.
Boil water advisories are in effect for Mud Fork, Stollings, Three Mile Curve, and Rum Creek.
Several locations are being used as dropoff points for donations to be given to flood victims, including the Man Pic Pac, Buffalo Creek Memorial Library, Dollar General in Man, Medi-Home Care in Chapmanville, Verdunville Church of God, Mill Creek Church of God and the Appalachian Dream Center.
All cleaning items are needed for distribution to the flood victims.
According to Porter, Coal Branch Road, which is also known as University Avenue, is currently closed for repairs.
Porter said the flood cleanup effort is expected to take more than a month.
“Also, the public should understand that a Federal Disaster Declaration has not been declared by President Obama and FEMA cannot provide assistance until the declaration has been made,” Porter said. “Calling or getting online to contact FEA will be of no benefit right now.”
To contact Staff Writer Michael Browning, call 304-752-6950, extension 309, or email him at email@example.com.