Most can recall the horrors of the “Thousand Year Flood” that took place in June 2016. Yesterday officially marked the two-year anniversary, and one West Virginian small town looking on the bright side.
Flood waters nearly drowned the little town completely. Homes were lifted off their foundations, drifting away. Everybody’s personal belongings and memories buried under muck and mud.
Two years later, the town hosts their first-ever Clendenin Homecoming Festival, a community-based event that celebrates their perseverance and accomplishments through a tough time.
Flood survivor, Janet Rollyson explained that the flood took everything from her, but today, ever-thankful for the volunteers that helped her get back on her feet and build her a new home.
“Yea, sure I miss my old house, but now I finally feel like when I open my door and I look through the house I feel love because it was a house built with love.”
This morning, Janet opened up Facebook to see pictures from that horrific day. She explained today was not the day to dwell on the past.
“I just scrolled down and didn’t even look at them because I felt like today is a day for celebration. I don’t want to be sad today. I want to be happy, so I just scrolled past the old pictures; they’re hard to look at.”
Mayor Shana Clendenin, said “two years ago we would have been under water right now, so it has been an amazing, amazing transformation from two years till now, and it continues to amaze me everyday.
Clendenin said that this festival is just the start to a growing, hopeful, new Clendenin. She said there is
still much work to be done and great ambitions are in the works for the future.
If anybody still recovering needs help, the Town Hall doors are always open and Mayor Clendenin expressed a helping hand is always there.