Two years later: Clendenin family rebuilds after 2016 flood ravages home

By: Lauren Talotta | Posted: June 22, 2018 | Source: WCHSTV

The Tanner family was able to move their house to a new property a few miles away.

Saturday marks two years since devastating floods hit West Virginia, destroying homes and lives. In Kanawha County, Clendenin was one of the areas hit the hardest by the 2016 flood, the rebuilding continues there today.

The Tanners are just one of the hundreds of families displaced by the flood in and around the town of Clendenin. They remember June 23, 2016 like it was yesterday.

That morning, it started raining,” said Zac Tanner. “We tried to save as much as we could. The water just got so high, we just climbed up the hill in the back of our house.”

“I was out work, and my husband called and said our house was starting to flood,” said Jennifer Tanner.

Memories washed away in just minutes, but…


Flood recovery funding still on Kanawha Commission’s agenda

Flood debris is piled outside a damaged house in Clendenin on July 1, 2016. Chris Dorst | Gazette-Mail file photo

By: Rick Steelhammer, Staff Writer | Posted: June 21, 2018 | Source: WV Gazette-Mail

In the weeks and months following the catastrophic flooding that swept across much of West Virginia in June 2016, “I never thought we would still be doing recovery work two years later,” Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said on Wednesday.

“But here we are, in our last meeting before the two-year anniversary of the flood, still dealing with it,” Carper said, before he and other commissioners voted to provide $15,000 for building supplies for use by volunteers in repairing 75 flood-damaged Kanawha County homes this summer.

“These are the kinds of organizations that get things done,” Carper said. “They were here last year and did good work.”

During a nine-week period this summer, 900 Group Workcamps Foundation volunteers have made commitments to work on flood repairs in the Clendenin and Elkview areas, with followup work to continue for five additional summers, Clendenin Mayor Shana Clendenin told commissioners.

“A lot of people still need things like…


Flood relief efforts to continue despite Kanawha recovery committee’s plans to close

By: Kalea Gunderson | Posted: June 21, 2018 | Source: WCHSTV

Rainy nights like Thursday are still difficult for victims of the 2016 historic flooding that swept across the state killing 23 people and destroying hundreds of homes across several counties. (WCHS/WVAH)

Rainy nights like Thursday are still difficult for victims of the 2016 historic flooding that swept across the state killing 23 people and destroying hundreds of homes across several counties.

Saturday will mark the two-year anniversary, and still, many people are in desperate need of help.

Even though the list of needs is still long, the Greater Kanawha Long-Term Recovery Committee is running out of money and will soon close, and with many families still waiting on the help they were promised by RISE West Virginia, the recovery committee doesn’t intend for its recovery efforts to stop when the funding does.

The funding is running out and…


Kanawha flood recovery committee phasing out operations

Susan Jack, director of the Greater Kanawha Long-term Recovery Committee, talks with volunteers on a job in Clendenin last year. The committee is phasing out when it runs out of money within a few weeks and Jack will work for a Christian mission organization. Kenny Kemp | Gazette-Mail file photo

By: Lori Kersey, Staff Writer | Posted: June 19, 2018 | Source: WV Gazette-Mail

A committee set up to help Kanawha County recovery in the wake of the June 2016 flood is running out of money and phasing out.

John Ballengee, interim chairman of the Greater Kanawha Long-Term Recovery Committee, estimates the panel has enough money to handle 10 to 15 more needs in the next 60 or so days, depending on the cases that are presented.

“While we continue to fund unmet needs with the funds we still have available, we’re probably not going to continue that when our funds dry up,” Ballengee said.

Ballengee said that when the committee was very active, about a year to 18 months after the flood, it had volunteers from as many as 40 agencies. It employed a director and some case managers, he said.

The committee’s director, Susan Jack, still intends to continue flood recovery work, though. Jack will work as a consultant for Praying Pelican Missions, a domestic and international Christian missions organization. The group is setting up a space in the former Clendenin Church of God building, Jack said.

Lonnie Maley, the Appalachian region operations coordinator for Praying Pelican, said…


Mayor Clendenin sheds light on letter to Governor Jim Justice

CLENDENIN, W.Va. – Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with the Town of Clendenin’s mayor, Shana Clendenin to go deeper into the letter she hand delivered to Governor Jim Justice on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. In addition, she copied and hand delivered the letter to the following state officials to inform them of the difficulties the Town of Clendenin had experienced when reaching out asking for assistance from the State of West Virginia.

Below is the two page letter by Mayor Shana Clendenin which provides a detailed account and timeline of her attempt to request help from employees with the West Virginia State Office of Emergency Management including Director Jimmy Gianato, House Speaker Tim Armstead, and members of the Justice Administration over the past year.

I invite you to listen to my interview with Mayor Shana Clendenin where she provides a detailed firsthand background of the challenges she and her administration has been faced with since taking office in July of 2017 as a result of the 2016 Flood. Also, the mayor gives us an update on the 1st Annual Clendenin Homecoming Festival that kicks off on Friday.

Extension Approved for Clay Rails Project

By: Alyssa Meisner | Posted: June 19, 2018 at 5:55 p.m. | Source: WOWKTV


Since 13 News first told you about the issues with the Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad Trail, the State Emergency Management Office has reached out to the Clay County Business Development Authority.

Mitch DeBoard told 13 News the office said the extension for the project has been sent to FEMA and approved. However, the change order was never sent to FEMA and cannot be located in the Emergency Management office.

DeBoard said he hopes the project can start moving forward.


It’s been almost two years since deadly 2016 floods destroyed the Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad trail. But the Clay County Business Development Authority is still struggling to get funding sorted out to repair the area.

The rail line once hauled coal, but now carries kids and tourists to see Clay County. Only 6 of the 18-mile stretch is open because of the serious damage after the 2016 floods.

“The #5 bridge completely destroyed…


New bridge opens for neighbors in Elkview community

By: WSAZ News Staff | Posted: June 18, 2018 at 7:37 p.m. | Source: WSAZ

ELKVIEW, W.Va. (WSAZ) — Residents of one Elkview community have a little less to worry about when they travel up Bats Branch Road.

Community members, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) representatives, and others cut the ribbon on a new bridge that will help residents get where they need to go.

The bridge was put together by VOAD. Community members say this bridge will serve more than nine families up Bats Branch Road just outside of Elkview, West Virginia.

Before, neighbors say…



After RISE administrative changes, WV flood survivors await help

George Lesson, Jr., of Elkview, stands by the door of his trailer, which was severely damaged by the June 2016 flood. After he denied a new trailer from RISE, he’s been working to repair the old one. Gazette photo.

By: Lori Kersey, Staff Writer | Posted: June 16, 2018 | Source: WV Gazette-Mail

LESLIE — When John Harris and his family moved into their church’s parsonage, it was supposed to be a temporary solution.

The 40-year-old’s home in Leslie, Greenbrier County, was damaged beyond repair during the June 2016 flood. His church took them in last October, and they signed a three-month lease. They expected to be in a new home built by the state’s RISE program soon after.

RISE first told him he’d have a new house by Thanksgiving, Harris said — then by Christmas, then by February. Four months later, in early June, they were still waiting.

“I feel like I’m abusing the usage of my church,” he said at the time. “I really do. And I really feel like that RISE just doesn’t care.”

Last week, though, Harris got some good news. Soon after Gov. Jim Justice…


Governor Defends WV Flood Relief

By: Mark Curtis | Posted: June 15, 2018 at 5:28 p.m. | Source: WOWKTV

CHARLESTON, W.Va – Governor Justice came out swinging at his Friday news conference with General James Hoyer, the man now in charge of West Virginia flood relief under the “Rise WV” program. The Governor says a brief pause in the program, stopped waste and abuse.

“Hands down millions that we would have thrown away, that we can use for flood victims, and use to help those that need help in every way,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.

While the Governor’s office identified over 400 new cases eligible for “Rise” help, critics say it’s not enough. The Town of Clendenin has been…