WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two West Virginia congressman told the U.S. House they believe the state will bounce back from the devastating floods.
“We will repair our schools, restock our library shelves, repave our roads and reconstruct our bridges. We will be there for each other,” said Third District Congressman Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.).
“Recovery is not a question, but a certainty,” said Second District Congressman Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.).
Both Jenkins and Mooney gave speeches on the House Floor Wednesday to address the flood damage and resiliency of flood victims.
“I saw West Virginians coming together in the most trying of times as resilient as ever and full of hope,” Mooney said.
The two have traveled to West Virginia’s impacted areas to do what they can to support recovery efforts.
“Along the way, I’ve met brave people, selfless people and some of the kindest people you’d ever get a chance to know,” Jenkins said.
Mooney said he was “truly moved” by what he saw.
“I saw and met a pastor who emptied his entire bank account to buy food for his neighbors,” Mooney said. “I saw an army of volunteers all of different political, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds donating their time and money to help.”
Jenkins said he was able to speak with flood survivors. One woman he spoke to was rescued from her Anstead home hours after the storm. He said the one-story residence filled with four feet of water.
“She survived the horrific event by relying on her deep faith knowing she was in God’s hands,” he said.
In the basement of the Summersville Baptist Church, Jenkins said thousands of family pictures were soaked in flood water. He said he saw church youth group members working to preserve those photos by spreading them out to dry. Jenkins said while in Rainelle, he met an 18 year old volunteer with the fire department.
“His job after the flood waters receded was to recover and retrieve bodies,” he said. “He has seen and done things that no one should have had to experience, but he kept doing his job for his community.”
The long road to recovery continues in the Mountain State as communities “have been tested,” Mooney said, but that West Virginians will “rebuild stronger than ever.”
“While the flood waters may have receded, our work is far from over,” he said.