Team Orwigsburg, a nonprofit group from Pennsylvania, is in West Virginia this week installing two prefabricated bridges for flood survivors in Clay County. With funding from WV VOAD, the West Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church and the United Way of Central West Virginia, Team O volunteers spent weekends building the bridges in the Bartush Signs warehouse in Orwigsburg. Their volunteer crew hauled the spans to West Virginia April 11 and are installing them now. With funding from the United Methodist conference and the Kanawha County Long-Term Recovery Committee, Team O also will replace the decking on a flood-damaged bridge in Kanawha County. This is the second year Team O has collaborated with WV VOAD to replace private access bridges destroyed in the June 2016 flood. We are so grateful for Team O’s commitment to West Virginia and all the donors, volunteers and case managers who make the Bridge Project possible!
Volunteers have completed this beautiful bridge in Elkview, Kanawha County for a family who lost the access bridge to their home in the June 2016 flood. Funded by Community Lutheran Partners and built by volunteer crews from Mennonite Disaster Service, this is the 51st bridge completed by the WV VOAD Bridge Project. We are so thankful to all those who helped and so excited for these residents who finally have safe passage to and from their home!
As part of a World Renew project to help West Virginians recover after the flood of June 2016, about 75 volunteers from Michigan spent a week this month in Kanawha County.
The volunteer teams from Westwood Church in Kalamazoo and RedArrow Ministries in Paw Paw helped make repairs to at least eight homes in the Clendenin and Elkview areas. The crew included adult team leaders, college students and high school students who were on their spring break.
Among the projects they did was a basement renovation in Clendenin, floor and drywall repairs, insulation work and window replacement.
World Renew, a WV VOAD member agency, has sent volunteer teams all over West Virginia to help repair and rebuild homes that were damaged or destroyed by flooding. WV VOAD is so thankful for World Renew’s commitment to long-term recovery!
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.”
A Clendenin family whose lives were turned upside down after the June 2016 flood has moved into a new home thanks to the work of the West Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church and a groundbreaking rebuilding project.
Miranda Nabers, a case manager working through the conference to help survivors of the June 2016 flood, has assisted a family of four through the recovery process since they lost their Cobb Avenue home in the flood.
The family was visiting relatives out of town when the flood hit. Their entire home was submerged, their two dogs perished and all their belongings were destroyed.
“It was terrible timing,” Nabers said. “They had just bought that land right before the flood.”
The family, which includes two young children, lived with relatives for more than a year and a half after their home was destroyed.
They now are the owners of a brand new mobile home, the product of a unique partnership between the United Methodist conference and a technical school in Upshur County.
Each year, students at the Fred W. Eberle Technical School in Buckhannon build and auction off a manufactured home. The conference purchased the 2017 model and had it transported and placed on an elevated foundation on the family’s Clendenin land.
The conference also paid for the 10-foot foundation to be constructed to get the home out of the floodplain. A crane then moved the home, in two pieces, onto the foundation.
“The family was there, and that was a great thing for them to see,” Nabers said. “That was a cool experience to watch the kids get to see that. They were pretty pumped. They said, ‘They’re putting our house on a crane! It’s in the air!’”
Volunteers from Cross Lanes United Methodist Church and Clendenin United Methodist Church, as well as the conference’s own disaster response team, helped finish construction on the home and build stairs and decking to make it accessible.
“It was a great partnership,” Nabers said of all the volunteers and organizations that helped get the family moved into their new home. “They wanted a clean slate. They’re very excited.”