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.