Voluntary organizations dedicate new homes for flood survivors in several counties

     WV VOAD member agencies celebrated the completion of several construction projects this month and watched as some overjoyed flood survivors began the fun work of moving in!

     In Rainelle, Appalachia Service Project and World Renew helped construct and fund a home for a family with several young children who were displaced in the June 2016 flood. Their new home also was made possible by generous donations from the Cales Foundation, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Catholic Charities West Virginia and the Greater Greenbrier Long-Term Recovery Committee.

     In Richwood, a senior citizen whose home caved in during the flood became the recipient of the sixth new home in Faith Villas, the neighborhood created specifically for flood survivors and funded by Neighbors Loving Neighbors. Her new house was built by Appalachia Service Project with some funding provided by United Way of Southern West Virginia.

     And in Clay County, a family of four who lost everything in the flood have a brand new home to call their own after more than a year of living with relatives.

     Miranda and Carlos Salisbury were grateful their children, 14-year-old Owen and 19-year-old Danielle, were not home June 23, 2016 when the flood hit. Water rushed into their Procious home so quickly the couple didn’t have a lot of time to get out. Miranda could only save a couple of things, one of which was her son’s prized video game system, his “favorite thing in the world.”

     “I said, ‘It’s not going to take everything,’” Miranda said of the flood.

     Floodwater eventually reached eight feet into their home, nearly to the ceiling. Everything was destroyed and the home was uninhabitable.

     The family had lived there for seven years and had just installed a brand new above-ground pool about two weeks before the flood hit.

     “We did lose a lot,” Miranda said, “but we kept what was really important — our family. I feel like we gained a lot, too. We have met some really amazing, beautiful people.”

     A case manager with the Disaster Case Management Program, administered by WV VOAD, has helped the Salisburys through the long recovery process. Appalachia Service Project constructed their new home over the winter, with additional funding from the West Virginia University Foundation and some furnishings provided by Catholic Charities West Virginia.

     “It took longer than we expected — we had to overcome the weather and other obstacles,” said Chris Schroeder, flood recovery coordinator with ASP. “It really was a humongous team effort.”

     Miranda Salisbury said, “We are very blessed and excited to have our own space. We know everyone worked so hard to make it happen.”

     The family’s new home sits high up on a hill off Maysel Laurel Ridge Road, near a family member’s property and about 15 minutes from their old home in Procious. It has an expansive view of sky and trees.

     “That’s my favorite thing about living up here,” Miranda said. “We aren’t anywhere near the water.”

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