Flood damage in Wayne County being assessed

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 11:18 PM EST
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WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - As victims of this week’s flooding begin the major task of cleaning up, officials are still working to figure out exactly how extensive the damage is and whether our area will qualify for federal help.

The Wayne County director of emergency services, B.J. Willis, is asking flood victims to post pictures and share details about their damage on this website as they try to determine whether they’ve crossed the threshold for help from FEMA, something victims in Dunlow are desperately hoping for.

Tap or click here to access that website.

The inside of home after home in Dunlow is caked with mud.

Adam Finley’s family parked a semi truck next to a porch Thursday evening as they hauled wet furniture out of their house along Route 152.

Twelvepole Creek came up higher out of its banks Sunday night than many residents had seen in their lives.

“We always thought we were in a safe place,” Finley said.

Charlene Jarrell says water got 3 feet into her house, and almost everything her family had was destroyed.

“It’s overwhelming,” Jarrell said. “It’s heartbreaking to know you have to start over.”

On Thursday, volunteers at the Dunlow Community Center handed out food, water, and cleaning items to more than 100 people affected.

Full-time in-person school is resuming this week for the first time in nearly a year in Wayne County, but students at Dunlow Elementary will have to keep waiting.

Superintendent Todd Alexander says water got up 8 inches into the main building and up to a foot in other parts.

He says it could be eight weeks before cleaning is completed and students can return.

Alexander says they’ll determine next week what to do with Dunlow students in the coming weeks as their elementary is cleaned. He says Dunlow students and teachers may be sent to Genoa or Crum Elementary temporarily. Until then, they’re back to virtual learning.

Jarrell has two children who go to Dunlow Elementary.

“Our kids were struggling anyway with schoology,” she said.

Jarrell says it’s heart-wrenching to be so close to being back to normal, only to suffer this huge setback.

“I was feeling blessed they could finally go back full-time so they could get their learning,” she said. “Now it’s just over for a while.”

Willis says the Red Cross and National Guard were in Wayne County doing damage assessment Thursday.

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