Private bridges dedicated in Clendenin

Photo Courtesy: West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. Two bridges were dedicated Wednesday.

By: MetroNews Staff | Posted: July 11, 2018 at 9:19 p.m. | Source: WV MetroNews

CLENDENIN, W.Va. — Two private bridges in Clendenin were dedicated Wednesday as part of the efforts to recover from the 2016 floods.

The bridges were the latest projects of West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, in which the organization has completed 56 private access bridges since the June 2016 flood happened.

Ben Cisco, bridge project manager at West Virginia VOAD, said the projects and related reaction never gets old.

“It’s always a great feeling to be able to give a family that has a hard time just to get to their house,” he said. “It’s very rewarding, what we do.”

The bridges are paid with…


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…



Clendenin Homecoming Festival Quickly Approaching

Excitement is in the air as the 1st Annual Clendenin Homecoming Festival quickly approaches. June 22-24, 2018 the Town of Clendenin will welcome guests from near and far to witness the progress of a once flood ravaged town and to celebrate the rebirth of the community. The resilience and spirit of those who call Clendenin and the Elk River home is remarkable and unmistakable.

The Clendenin Homecoming Committee is a growing group of local citizens working tirelessly since last year to plan and coordinate the upcoming festival.  In addition to the carnival and parade, the festival will feature numerous activities like a kayak race, horseshoe tournament, fishing tournament, numerous concerts, fireworks, craft and food vendors, and so much more. See below for a complete list of the festival agenda. Craft/sales and food vendor applications are still being accepted, so it is not too late to register for a booth.

2018 Clendenin Homecoming Festival Pageant winners: (L-R) Teen Queen Lauren Gorma, Queen Charley Clayton, and Mrs. Queen Alicia Casto

The Clendening Homecoming Festival recently crowned its royalty at the recent Clendenin Homecoming Festival Pageant. Winners included Teen Queen Lauren Gorma, Queen Charley Clayton, and Mrs. Queen Alicia Casto.  The Children’s Pageant Royalty includes: Baby Mister-Zachary Brake II, Little Mister-Wyatt Russell, Baby Miss-McKenna Garnes, Tiny Miss-Sophia Casto, Little Miss-Grace Fletcher, and Junior Miss-Natalie Donohew.

Various businesses in Clendenin have re-opened their doors and new businesses have made Clendenin their home since the June 2016 Flood; however, to date, Clendenin does not have a hotel. Many who attend the festival will stay with family and friends in the area; however some may seek other accommodations. There are hotels in neighboring towns, including nearby Elkview, and local Bed and Breakfast’s in and around Clendenin. Country Road House & Berries is located in Clendenin and has a Bed & Breakfast, along with the best strawberries in the area. You can contact them for room availability at (304) 553-5761 or by visiting their website.

Airbnb and Home Away are also great places that you can search for places to stay during the festival. Both Airbnb and Home Away are online marketplaces which lets people rent out their properties or spare rooms to guests. If you live in Clendenin or the surrounding areas and you are interested in learning how you can earn extra money by renting your room(s) and/or property during the Festival, here are some great resources:

In preparation for the festival, the Town of Clendenin along with the Kanawha County Commission, Chuck Grishaber with the Kanawha County Planning Department, and 25045- A New Clendenin, are sponsoring an Elk River Cleanup in Clendenin on June 9. Volunteers are asked to meet at Smith’s Foodfair parking lot at 9AM. View more details HERE.


Friday, June 22

6:00 PM: Myers Amusements Carnival (Across from the Post Office)

7:00 PM: Audio Outlaws Concert (Main Street Stage)

Saturday, June 23

8:00 AM:  Horseshoe Tournament Registration (Railroad Track)

9:00 AM: Opening  Ceremony (The Gazebo)

9:00 AM: All craft and food vendors open (Main St. & Maywood Ave)

9:00 AM: Kayak Race (Begins at Queen Shoals Bridge River Access)

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM: The Hoppy Express – from Smith’s Lot to Main Street and Back

11:00 AM: Horseshoe Tournament (Railroad Track)

12:00 PM: Parade Lineup (Poca Valley Bank)

12:00 PM: Carnival Opens (Across from the Post Office)

2:00 PM: Duck Race (Old Bridge to New Bridge)

4:00 PM: Royalty Coronation (Main Street Stage)

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM: Joanna Young Concert (Main Street Stage)

6:30 PM: Adam Tucker Meet & Greet (Main Street Stage area)

7:30 PM: Adam Tucker Concert (Main Street Stage)

After Adam Tucker Concert: Fireworks by Zambelli’s (on hill behind Smith’s lot)

Sunday, June 24

6:30 AM: Fishing Tournament (details on Facebook Event: Elk River Fishing Tournament)

5:00 PM: Fishing Tournament Awards (Main Street Stage)

Sponsors for the Clendenin Homecoming Festival include First Bank of Charleston, Pulmonary Associates, Poca Valley Bank, Shafer Equipment, Charleston Blueprint, FYAO, Cabin Creek Health Systems, Cantrell’s Florist, Houff Transfer, Teays River Construction Company, The Yak House, Kanawha County Commission, O.V. Smith and Sons, Inc., Town of Clendenin, and The Clendenin Leader.

You can stay up-to-date with The Clendenin Homecoming Festival by visiting their Facebook page.

UMC project gives Kanawha County family a fresh start

By: Kris Wise | Posted: Mar. 26, 2018 | Source: WV VOAD

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.”

Clay County family that survived 2016 flood gets keys to new home

New home dedicated on Friday. Photo courtesy: WV VOAD

By: Jeff Jenkins | Posted: Mar. 9, 2018 at 3:22 p.m. | Source: WV MetroNews

MAYSEL, W.Va. — A Clay County family that lost everything in the June 2016 flood moved into their new house Friday in the community of Maysel.

The house was made possible by the coordinating efforts of West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD).

“This was a family that had a rent-to-own property that was completely destroyed,” WV VOAD Disaster Case Manager Barbara Moody said.

It was an emotional day in Clay County. WV VOAD

Because the property was rent-to-own the family only qualified for rental assistance from FEMA. They were not eligible for an SBA loan.

“That’s what makes this a little special,” WV VOAD Executive Director Jenny Gannaway told MetroNews Friday. “We are able to help those families get back what they lost in the flood.”

Appalachia Service Project built the new house and the WVU Foundation helped pay for the construction. The house, which was furnished in part by Catholic Charities West Virginia, was built on property the family purchased from a family member.

The June 23, 2016 flood brought eight feet of water into the family’s former home. The couple’s two children weren’t there the night of the flood. The mother went back into the house to retrieve her son’s X-Box, WV VOAD Disaster Case Supervisor Sarah Hambrick said.

“I was like, ‘What a mom!’ she knew that was important to him,” Hambrick said.

WV VOAD and its member agencies will dedicate a new house in Richwood next week. Construction is also scheduled to start next week on the 50th private bridge that’s been constructed under a WV VOAD program.

Jeff Jenkins, the award-winning native of Pratt, W.Va., took over as head of the news division of MetroNews in August 2000. Reach him at and follow him on Twitter @JeffJenkinsMN

Barboursville Lions Club marks milestone anniversary

Submitted photo The Barboursville Lions Club celebrated 75 years of service to the community Jan. 23 at the Barboursville Senior Center.

Posted: Mar. 9, 2018 | Source: The Herald Dispatch

BARBOURSVILLE – The Barboursville Lions Club celebrated 75 years of service to the community Jan. 23 at the Barboursville Senior Center.

District Governor Lion Lee Ann Welch and Past District Governors Bob Roach, John Pinkerman, Donna Pinkerman and Eddie Queen were honored guests.

Barboursville Mayor Chris Tatum presented a proclamation honoring the club for its many years of service to the community.

Club past President Lib Ciccolella presented a history of the club, noting it was sponsored in 1942 by the Huntington Downtown Lions Club.

In 1972, the Barboursville Lions sponsored the Lesage Lions Club and for the past 15 years, been the sponsor of the youth organization of Lions, the Leo Club at Cabell Midland High School and Barboursville Middle School.

Four years ago, a community-based Leo Club was formed, now boasting 55 members. Projects of the Leo Club include serving meals at the city mission, collecting food for the Cabell Midland food pantry, and doing flood relief at Clendenin. Currently they are working on a Braille Trail project at the Barboursville Community Park.

The Barboursville Lions Club meets at 6:30 p.m. every second and fourth Tuesday at the Barboursville Community Center, 721 Central Ave., Barboursville.

For more information, visit

Send us your club news

The Herald-Dispatch welcomes news from area clubs, including installation of new offices, special speakers, upcoming programs or anniversary celebrations.

Email club news to rmfarmer@herald-dispatch or

Submitted photos should be in .jpg format and large format or large quality. Please identify each person in the photos by first and last name and include titles when appropriate.

For more information, call 304-526-2798.

Volunteers visit Clay, Kanawha counties to repair flood-damaged homes

Posted: Feb. 20, 2018 | Source: Clay County Free Press

Through the coordination of West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD), a group of about a dozen volunteers will spend a week helping repair homes for flood survivors in Kanawha and Clay counties.

Ten to 12 volunteers with Brethren Disaster Ministries, a WV VOAD member agency, will arrive Sunday from Pennsylvania. (more…)

FEMA, DEP, EPA, HUD In Attendance At Third Clendenin Planning Commission Meeting

Photo Courtesy: Stacy Nelson | The Clendenin Leader

By: Mark Burdette | Posted: Feb. 16, 2018

CLENDENIN, WEST VIRGINIA (The Clendenin Leader) – The Clendenin Planning Commission held their third meeting on Thursday, February 15, 2018, at 6:30 PM at the Recreation Building located beside Town Hall, in Clendenin, West Virginia. The meeting was facilitated by Jesse Richardson from WVU Law along with James Young (FEMA), Philip Maramba (FEMA), Julie Alston (WV HUD), Lorna Rosenberg (EPA), and Dr. Terry Polen (WV DEP) were in attendance.

After the minutes from the January 23, 2018 Planning Commission meeting were approved, Lorna Rosenberg, sustainable advisor from EPA, joined via phone conference from Philadelphia to discuss sustainable community programs that focus on local food, health, broadband, and Main Street. She discussed a focused approach to target sustainable actions to help Clendenin move forward to become more health resilient and to improve the economic resiliency. She went on to discuss that because Clendenin is a community that was affected by the flood, there will be an opportunity to focus and target a discussion and action plan around initiatives that have been created to improve the community. EPA and FEMA will facilitate a two-day workshop sometime in April or May, which will include experts from various agencies, to address specific topics and flood resiliency. Prior to this meeting, an action plan will need to be created, which should include targeted action items, along with funding information.

Mayor Shana Clendenin indicated that housing is still an issue in town and throughout the surrounding area. The mayor also added that the Kanawha County Long Term Recovery Committee and WV VOAD have done an exceptional job in residential recovery but there are still needs that need to be met. The Town of Clendenin is still struggling with business recruitment and business retention. Infrastructure is still a concern, especially wastewater treatment. According to Mayor Clendenin tourism is her primary focus right now centered around Elk River and Rails to Trails. The Town of Clendenin just applied for a TAP grant through WV Dept. of Highways for a complete streetscape of Main Street to beautify the area. Announcement of whether Clendenin will receive grant will be sometime in the fall later this year.

Kevin Clendenin, President of the Clendenin Planning Commission and Fire Chief for the Clendenin Volunteer Fire Dept., echoed many of the infrastructure challenges that the Town of Clendenin faces. Clendenin said, “We need businesses with stable jobs and need to broaden our footprint with utilities. Historically, utilities were run along the river and weren’t developed towards the interstate or residential areas like Reamer, who doesn’t have fire hydrants or city water. Less than a mile from where you’re sitting there are people drawing well water still today. We need to identify grants that can help develop our utilities.”

According to Mayor Clendenin upgrades to sewer, water and all drains in town are very much needed. The last project done on drains was the late 1990s. Dr. Terry Polen with WV DEP suggested putting a plan and process together to apply for a grant with the WV Water Development Authority could be an option to improve infrastructure needs in the town. James Young with FEMA said a mitigation grant can provide monies to upgrade infrastructure for stormwater, however, not much can be done at this point for much-needed maintenance on existing issues due to missing deadlines.

Listen to the full audio of the Clendenin Planning Commission meeting above to hear more about what is being done to revitalize the Town of Clendenin.