Rising from the floodwaters: Rainelle families receive new homes - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Rising from the floodwaters: Rainelle families receive new homes


RAINELLE, W.Va. (WVVA) As the floodwater rose in her 9th Street home during the 2016 flood, Rainelle resident Darlenia Killen wondered whether those hours would be her last.

"My fiance Michael, we had a wind-up lantern. Every 15 minutes all night long, he wound that lantern so people would know we were there," said Killen. "We thought we might die. The house shifted at one point and we thought oh no, it's over." 

It wasn't over. At 5 a.m. the next morning, help arrived inn the form of a Kayak. And on Monday, after more than a year of living in a single bedroom apartment and FEMA trailer, help arrived again.

Killen and several other families were handed the keys to their very home on 9th street, compete with 8-foot support beams should severe weather strike again thanks to work by the Appalachia Service Project, a Christian ministry focused on home repair and replacement in Central Appalachia. 

"It's just great to be back in Rainelle, to be able to stay here and build a family here," said Stephanie McCoy, another resident who received a new home.

For the families, it was a true homecoming after several hard months of living in temporary housing. The families were also given thanksgiving baskets complete with turkeys to celebrate with on Thursday. 

"I could not be more appreciative, I'm afraid I might cry, added Killen as she walked into her new home.

 To date, the Appalachian Service Project has built more than 50 homes for those who lost their homes in the 2016 flood. 


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