Nurses from the Logan County Health Department gave out free tetanus shots to those who have been in flood water or mud.
A week ago a torrential downpour dumped four inches of rain in an hour on Mud Fork, Verdunville and Coal Branch in Logan County and Dingess in Mingo County, causing severe damage to around 300 homes and businesses in Logan County. Emergency officials estimate more than 1,000 people were affected by the flash flooding.
So, because tetanus can be caught from flood water, the Logan County Health Department gave out vaccines to many people who were directly in the water or flood mud.
The shots began at 10 a.m., but many flood victims were already in line and got their shots early. Many more lined up around the Dream Center walkway to get their shots.
Angela Messer and family all had to get shots. The flooding got up 18 inches in their home.
“It severely damaged our house and they don’t think, at this point, that it’s even fixable,” Messer said. “Right now, me, my husband and son are staying at my parents’ house and my mother-in-law and nephew are staying at her family’s house at Cow Creek.
“My mother-in-law was in the house when the water started coming up, but she didn’t know it was going to be that bad. When it got severely bad, it was too late for her to leave, so she stayed. She wasn’t hurt, but she has a lot of medical problems and just had a pacemaker put in a month ago, so she was very scared. We’ve never had any flooding like this. We’ve lived up there five or six years and never been flooded before.”
Her mother-in-law, Emma Messer, said she was scared when the water started rising.
“It started coming off the hill first and then it came across the bridge and it got in the house beside us before it got in ours. I was really panicking, really scared. I didn’t know what to do, because I knew I was stranded in there. They had called 911 to try to come and get me and it was too bad.”
The rain started early Thursday morning and by 1 p.m., nearly all of Mud Fork was flooded. Emma Messer said she was stranded in the house for hours.
“I didn’t get out of there until 5:30 and I started praying and the water started going out of the house and I got out and went to my friend’s house,” Emma Messer said. “I had never seen anything like that before.”
Ralph Hager Sr. and his wife, Barbara, arrived just after 10 a.m. to get their shots.
Ralph Hager said the waters rose around their home at Verdunville, but never washed into the house.
“It got level with the floors, but it didn’t get in,” Ralph Hager said.
The Health Department nurses — Sandra Davis, Patricia Bragg and Ginger Baker — worked with flood victims and gave out more than 100 tetanus shots that were combined with protussus vaccinations for whooping cough.
To contact Staff Writer Michael Browning, call 304-752-6950, extension 309, or email him at email@example.com.