KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Monday’s unprecedented storm brought flooded roadways, destroyed homes and lost memories. All things residents in the unincorporated community of Rand said is nothing new but for their community is preventable.
“We need help here, and we need it yesterday,” said Bryan Smith.
Bryan Smith is the son of disabled U.S. army veteran John Smith who’s lived in Rand for over five decades with his wife Barbara Smith.
John Smith said the flooding has gotten worse over the years.
“We would have some high water, but not to the extent that every time a cloud goes over you get flooded,” he said.
So, what’s the problem? John Smith claims it started when a new sewer system was installed in the late seventies.
“After they put in supposedly a sewer system to save us from ourselves, it just went completely crazy – flooding all the time in places where we never had water and everything there,” he said.
Rand residents said they’ve been trying to get help for years, but they’ve never gotten results.
“We want to see digging, heavy equipment machines, then we know that they mean business,” said Mack Reed, Rand resident.
Every time it rains, people in Rand said the problem just gets worse.
“It’s been four block high in here at least a dozen times,” Bryan Smith said.
For John Smith, it all comes down to basic human dignity.
“I’ve done everything by the numbers according to our society,” he said. “I’ve graduated from high school. I’ve served in the army. I worked at a job for 39 years and I got more coming to me than that and if not me certainly my family here so I’m just plain angry about it.”
According to Sen. Glenn Jeffries (D-Putnam), he’s been assisting with fixing the issue for about a year now. He said phase one, which includes assessing the problem, is complete. Now, they’ll move onto phase two, but he could not specify what that entailed.