Volunteers needed as work begins to rebuild Fayette County communities


Fayette County Sheriff’s deputies say more volunteers are needed to help residents rebuild...
Fayette County Sheriff’s deputies say more volunteers are needed to help residents rebuild after a flood tore through several Fayette County communities earlier in the week.(wvva)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 3:30 PM EDT
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SMITHERS, W.Va. (WVVA) - Fayette County Sheriff’s deputies say more volunteers are needed to help residents rebuild after a flood tore through several Fayette County communities earlier in the week.

The scene in Cannelton Hollow in Smithers still looked more like a war zone on Wednesday than the typically quiet street that houses many elderly residents. Mayor Anne Cavalier said that at least a 100 homes were badly damaged by not only the high water, but sewer running through the city.

“I’m sure the sewer will be fixed. I’m sure the water will be fixed. Power lines that are leaning, they will be fixed. What we don’t know right now is who will be able to stay in their homes.”

Robert Van Meter, 76, of Cannelton Hollow, said his home was utterly overwhelmed by the floods. His first floor is gone, along with his washing machine, dryer, and heat pump. “I can’t do it. I’m too old. And I just don’t have it in me anymore.”

Crews from the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Team arrived on Monday to help residents like Van Meter rebuild. Their first step is to assess the damage. Next, they said they will help residents take out anything affected by the flood.

“We do it all for free. It’s our way of showing the love of Christ and giving them hope in a very difficult time,” said Ted Duty, one of the organization’s volunteers.

Mayor Cavalier praised residents who have been stepping up to help their neighbors. “You don’t want this to happen anywhere, but if it has to happen, it’s good to happen in a small town because people take care of people.”

With Fayette County Schools starting next week, Mayor Cavalier said it is important to note the county will be moving its emergency shelter. Starting on Friday afternoon, the county will move all operations from Valley Pre-K-8 to the old Valley Elementary School, which now serves as Smithers City Hall.

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