Logan County Emergency Services Director and LEASA Executive Director Roger Bryant said the next big step will be finding suitable temporary housing for flood victims who lost their homes in the June 12 downpour.
Bryant told representatives from different relief agencies it was important that everyone work together to help as many flood victims as possible.
"This meeting will help to find out what unmet needs there are left in Logan County," Bryant said. "Basically, we have dealt with floods for some time. So our procedures are down pat, however, we have been in a rescue mode and we are going into recovery mode."
Bryant said victims had to have their flood-damaged debris out on the curbside by 5 p.m. yesterday or it wouldn’t be picked up.
"We set a deadline for people to have stuff out to be hauled away at 5 p.m. (Tuesday). The reason we did that is because if we didn't have a quick deadline, people would still be setting stuff out three weeks from now. It also helps people get past the initial shock of the flooding."
County officials are still waiting to see if Pres. Obama declares the flash flood a federal disaster.
"We still don't have any word on a declaration," Bryant said. "Until that announcement is made, nothing will happen. But, when it is made, FEMA will have a toll free number for victims to call and file claims."
Bryant said it is important to realize that when the federal government does get involved it won't be able to give back everything people have lost.
"That is why flood insurance is so important," he said. "It's a harsh reality, but people often have unrealistic expectations."
Bryant said most basic services are back on across the county. The Logan County Public Service District said water service has been restored to most of the county. However, around 20 homes in Madison Creek are still without water due to a ruptured line.
West Virginia National Guard Sgt. J. Hindman said a lot of work was being done hauling off flood debris from the Mount Gay area and that his men were scouting for other areas needing pick up work completed.
"It is going well and we hope some of the soldiers can be back home this weekend," he said.
"They have moved an enormous amount of debris in a short period of time," Bryant said.
The public can call 304-752-0917 and ask for assistance for pickups which will be passed on to the National Guard, Bryant said.
Tommy Elliot of the Red Cross said his agency had been delivering hot meals and cleaning supplies and that the needs are tremendous.
"We started out doing 600 meals a day in Shamrock and Holden.That has gone up to 1,200 meals a day. We have 41 people in the field from five states,” Elliott said. “We have set up a Client Assistance Center at the West Logan Church of God. Hot meals are being delivered in emergency response vehicles. We need to go back to Crown. We are taking loads of water and bleach up to Madison Creek daily. Cleaning supplies are available at the Appalachian Dream Center at Holden."
Sgt. Gary Stewart of the Salvation Army of Logan said his agency was grateful for help it got from LEASA as well as the Food Bank in Huntington.
Bryant said people wanting to help flood victims can make donations to the Logan County branches of the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
"Just mark ‘Flood Relief’ on donations," Lt. Stewart said, noting his agency gave out food and cleaning kits the first day, thanks to help from LEASA and the National Guard. He said 500 kits were taken to the Dream Center in Holden and more supplies are on the way. Stewart said the Lions Club of Logan will be distributing meals and supplies starting at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.
Elliot said preliminary numbers indicate 167 homes were destroyed by the flood and mud slides and that one bridge was out in Whitman.
Bryant said the biggest challenge yet to be faced is finding temporary housing for those whose homes were damaged or destroyed.