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Flooding forces Barboursville businesses to evacuate

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 8:48 AM EST
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BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - High water started to creep into several businesses along Route 60 on Tuesday.

Jay Swann, Rachel and Jack McGinnis were in to work early where more than a foot of water had already entered the building.

“We weathered COVID gracefully, by the grace of God,” said Swann. “To see this and what you’ve worked for, it’s heartbreaking.”

The trio own Appalachian Pest Control & Appalachian Janitorial Services and they never imagined they’d be buckling up their waders to get to the office.

“Your whole life is sitting there, and there’s not a thing you can do about it,” said Swann.

Flood waters destroyed five of their vehicles and they tell WSAZ they lost all office supplies that were sitting below four feet.

“We’re going in to see what can be salvaged, if anything,” said Swann.

The business owners returned a few hours later armed with totes and a strong sense of faith to try and rescue some personal belongings and valuables.

“This is a set back for a set up,” said Swann. “We’re going to be set up for something. We just don’t know what, but we’re going to come back strong.”

Teresa Albright owns Scrubs Unlimited and says she got a call from the building manager that she needed to get in and pack up quick as water quickly approached the structure.

“I’m just checking to make sure we get everything up from the flood,” said Albright. “I’m hoping it doesn’t come in more than 6 to 8 inches.”

These small business owners all share a sense of hope, relying on the strength of one another to help them ride out another wave of hardship.

“We’ve got a loss, but we’ll have a strong recovery no doubt,” said Swann.

Water levels are expected to begin receding at some point Wednesday. Building owners who’ve been in the area for several decades say they’ve never seen the water rise in the area like this before.

“This is scary, this is my only source of income,” said Albright. “This is very scary because the longer I’m down, the more I have to worry about paying bills.”

Motorists are being forced to turn around at West Mall Road where it meets U.S. 60.

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