KANAWHA/FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – One year ago at this time, eastern Kanawha County and parts of Fayette County were dealing with relentless rain.

The rain started early in the morning of Aug. 15, 2022, and in the hours that followed, nearly two dozen people had to be rescued from their homes.

The communities, including hard-hit Smithers, truly pulled together in the weeks and months that followed to make sure neighbors had water to drink, places to shower and do laundry, and a hot meal. Today, one year later, the people of those communities say they hope mitigation efforts will work in the future to prevent flooding events like that one from happening again.

“This area, when it gets not a lot of rain but a couple inches, it just seems like there’s always flooding in the area. And it just makes you think. If we do get a couple days of heavy rain, it makes people worry, get some on edge,” said Gary Nelmont, who works security for Alpha Natural Resources.

The cleanup efforts from the flooding took days before roads were even open. The West Virginia National Guard was also called to help the communities clean up and recover from the flooding.