SPENCER, W.Va. — The cleanup is underway in Spencer. The flood waters have receded but the mud and the muck remain.

Meg Gallo, who lives along Front Street, one of the hardest hit areas of the city, said the water came up quickly Thursday morning. With water rushing through her front door, she was afraid for her life.

“I couldn’t get out! There was no way for me to get out,” Gallo told MetroNews as she pushed the mud away Friday.

The water was chest deep and running swift through her front yard and the back of her house faces a hillside that’s nearly vertical. She rode out the storm on the second floor.

“I’m just frustrated,” she sighed. “With the cleanup, I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to start.”

Just down the street Jordan Evans and her husband had to make a mad dash for safety up steep flight of outside stairs on Thursday to the road above.

“I feel very, very lucky that we’re all okay…very, very lucky,” Evans said. “Anything that’s material can be replaced but everyone is okay and that’s the important part.”

The floodwater wiped out the first floor of their home. Friends and family came to help on Friday with the cleanup. Evans said she’s yet to decide whether she’ll stay or go.

“It’s heartbreaking and makes it scary to want to try to stay here again.”

Richard and Cindy Taylor live on Second Street. Mr. Taylor said the water moved in so fast Thursday morning there was hardly time to escape.

“I waded in water almost up to my chest and I’m a pretty good-sized old boy,” said Taylor

The couple managed to get their 89-year-old neighbor to safety. But there wasn’t time to save anything else according to Cindy.

“We lost everything in our house,” she cried. “I was scared for my friends and my family…It’s really hard!”

It was an emotional effort on Friday to start cleaning up. From ripping out the carpet and rugs to tossing out all their furniture

“We’ll pick up and try again,” said Mrs. Taylor.

Because the Taylors and most of their neighbors on Second Street live in the flood plain, they don’t have flood insurance. Mr. Taylor explained it’s just too expensive.

Back on Front Street, Walter Criss, 92, and a World War II veteran, sat on his front porch Friday watching his neighbors cleanup. Meanwhile, inside his house, the carpets were soaked, the kitchen floor covered in silt and the stench of flood increased by the hour. At his age, he said, he just couldn’t start the massive cleanup project. He’s waiting on his daughter to arrive from Ohio. But if you ask him if he’s ready to move to higher ground, the answer is a firm ‘no!’

This is home,” he said.

All total, more than 100 homes in Spencer were damaged by flood water. How extensive that damage is will take a few more days to determine.

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  • u make me sick

    i LIVE in spencer. some of these comments made me sick. spencer is full of VETS on disabiliity incomes. you know, those people fighting for YOUR freedom. since some of you are to stupid to read, this is a FIRST for spencer. the water has NEVER been this high. i dont believe anyone should get government funding for this. INSTEAD sue the heck out of this city for not doing their jobs and keeping drains/creeks clear. the drain in front of my house has been clogged for 10 years. this caused water to flood my yard instead of to the creek. sorry for punctuation 2am smart phone. ps our mayor just spent 10k for a freaking clock on a post. pot holes everywhere. highest paid mayor iin wv. government at its finest.

  • lee arthur

    Sorry , no sympathy for people who build / buy land adjacent to a flood plain.

  • Meep

    P.S. Because I built my house in a flood plain I had it elevated which reduced my flood insurance costs. But I'm also on a river. These people lived in a 500 year plain.

    Now they cry because they chose not to carry flood insurance.

  • Meep

    I have a house in a flood plain and I have flood insurance. It runs about $35 a month. I'm sure the people who couldn't "afford" flood insurance will now expect someone to pick up the tab and I'm sure they manage to squeeze out $150 a month for their cable.

    These people need to re-examine their priorities.

  • Scott

    I'm sure it's all that minings fault. The only place it floods is were theirs mines.

  • TB

    I hope everyone gets FEMA relief! Glad everyone was safe. Prayers!

  • RamblingMan

    Once those couches dry out, I wonder if they could make their way to Morgantown's Sunnyside section for a football game??

  • aggravated

    A lot of times there isn't any other place to move. The terrain simply will not allow it. The problem is that flood insurance is entirely too expensive for homeowners to afford today. I've lived near creeks and rivers and paid the flood insurance premiums, it's ridiculous. How can flood insurance cost 3-4 times the cost of home owners insurance? It doesn't make sense and now these poor people will be left with nothing.


      Perhaps that should be investigated as well. I have never met or know of a poor insurance salesperson. They all live wealthy lives from what I can see. While the risk of filing a claim for flood damage would be greater, it is not equal to the high premium cost.

      • aggravated

        The problem is FEMA it is the only source for flood insurance. If the open market could compete and offer flood insurance then perhaps the premiums wouldn't be as high as they are today.

        • Meep

          That is utterly wrong. I have flood insurance through a private underwriter in Iowa - can't remember off hand the name.

          It costs me about $35 a month. All these people surely have their cable bill and don't think anything about paying hundreds of dollars a year for it.


          FEMA only provides the program as mandated by the federal govt. it's not their fault. It's our elected officials fault.


    First, glad everyone is ok. i truly meant that statement. Ok, so isn't time to let FEMA or Army Corps of Engineers come in and assess, buy out the owners, condemn the properties, demolish and remove debris and then prohibit future building in these areas. I simply don't understand the logic here. Passion to remain, ok I get that. But it's time to move on. It's not air to law enforcement, fire department and other emergency personnel to respond to these flood prone areas for rescue or tax dollars used for cleanup either. Lets get these residents and owners support for buyouts and move them to a safer place.

    • Meep

      The government regularly enables irresponsible people.

    • david

      You'll be please to know that the fire, ems, or police didn't have to respond to any calls because they to were under water. 90 percent of of town of Spencer in in the flood plain and it sits in a valley with hills in every direction. No place to go except through town.