KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Crews and residents are working to clean up in eastern Kanawha County after heavy rain caused flash flooding throughout the area.
Kanawha County 911 dispatchers said on Monday, Aug. 28, 2023, that they took more than 700 calls in the morning hours due to the severe weather that caused flooding throughout communities in eastern Kanawha County. Around 10:30 a.m. that morning, crews were on the scene of 12 active water rescues, and at least 22 had been successfully completed by 3 p.m.
Officials say as of Tuesday, there have been no injuries or fatalities due to the flooding. The storms produced more than nine inches of rainfall in some areas.
13 News spoke with families in the Little Creek area who were eagerly waiting to be reunited after floodwaters trapped some people inside their homes on Monday.
“Just phone calls and a lot of worry and we just had to wait patiently to come up here last night,” said Dean Smith, whose father lives on Little Creek Road. “I’ve lived here for probably 40 years … I’ve seen floods before, nothing like this, this is just total destruction up here.”
The floodwaters have since receded, leaving behind piles of mud and debris that many are now working to clean up.
“I’ve seen a lot of people up here, a lot of workers all day long, people are just trying to dig out,” Smith said. “I’ve seen people up here trying to get their stuff out of their house because they have three feet of water in it so it looks like they’re trying to get everything out of there and hopefully move on.”
Multiple recovery organizations were also out offering assistance to families by giving out food, water, cleaning supplies and kind words of support.
“They’re sitting there looking at a mountain of debris and they don’t see anyway around that mountain they’re stuck and we provide a way around that mountain for them,” said Roy Polmanteer, West Virginia Southern Baptist, state coordinator.
Even with the assistance, residents said the road to recovery has just begun.
“[I] hope one day this place looks normal again. but it’s going to take quite some time,” Smith said.