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Flooding destroys home days before owners planned to bring home newborn baby

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 7:25 PM EDT
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WEST HAMLIN, W.Va. (WSAZ) - People in West Hamlin are left picking up the pieces Friday, after more than two dozen homes were damaged during flash flooding Thursday night.

Two of the homes were destroyed.

“I’ve lived here 17 years, and it’s never been like this, never this high. The creek has got up never nothing like this,” said Tressa Egner who lives on Bias Fork Road right off state Route 3.

One of the homes destroyed was owned by a family who just had a baby and planned to come home from the hospital in a few days.

“It’s pretty sad and pretty bad when you sit and watch your neighbors home float down this high water and them having a new baby, you know, and her about ready to come home with the baby and didn’t even have a home to come to,” Egner said.

The owner’s uncle, Leroy Burgess who lives nearby, said the family is getting support, but they are left with nothing as the house has to be torn down.

“Now she’s got more to worry about, about her house. They just bought all the stuff for the baby and everything, the crib and mattresses and everything, and all the baby clothes. And it’s all gone,” Burgess said.

The water moved the home off its foundation more than one foot.

“I saw her porch to overtop off this bridge and knocked out my neighbors’ bridge,” Burgess said.

Most of the homes in the Bias Fork Road area did not sustain damage besides water in some basements.

Egner lives in a downstairs apartment, and she watched the water quickly rise, covering her wheelchair ramp, trapping her in her house.

“Next thing we knew, it looked like a great big ocean,” she said. ”I was scared and I’ve got anxiety real bad and if it hadn’t been for the lady that lived over there and the girl that lived here and the one upstairs -- if they hadn’t been home, I couldn’t have gotten out myself.”

Burgess did not have any water in his home, but it did wash out a culvert, washing away his driveway.

“I’ve never seen this. I’ve been here 32 years and I’ve never seen something like this,” said Burgess.

Both Egner and Burgess hope the upcoming storms pass them by, and they are just waiting to see if the water will rise again.

”If things come to worse, I can go there, I would just have to hurry up and get out before it start rising again,” Egner said.

Thursday night, more than 50 families were trapped on Bias Fork Road after a culvert washed out. Crews repaired it late Thursday night.

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