QUINCY, W.Va. — State officials report more than $8 million in flood donations have been distributed so far to West Virginia residents impacted by the June flood.
“At this warehouse alone, we brought in maybe $1.6 million in supplies that could go out to the counties,” said Jenny Gannaway, state chair of West Virginia Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD).
She was at the Flood Relief Distribution Center in Kanawha County Wednesday morning. Representatives of Volunteer West Virginia and DMAPS were also on hand.
“Right now, our biggest need would be skilled volunteer labor. It would be tools, building materials and furniture,” Gannaway said.
The warehouse sits in Quincy. It was completely empty more than six weeks ago before flood waters washed away homes and businesses in central and southeastern West Virginia.
Matt Blackwood, deputy director of Homeland Security with the WV Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, said the need for certain items has changed over the course of time.
“There is still some demands for local communities for the bleach and the water, but we have plenty of that right now, so we don’t need more of that here, but we are at the point that we do need the building materials so we can push out to help them start rebuilding,” he said.
Donations have poured in from organizations or individuals in neighboring states and all over the country, Blackwood said.
“There usually is some kind of family connection or history with West Virginia,” he said. “Those communities have dealt with floods themselves, so they sit there and they say we know what you’re going through and so we’re here to support you.”
The Quincy warehouse remains a hub for community-based distribution points. Some distribution sites have been phased out, but long-term recovery groups have stepped in. Recovery case workers are helping to make sure affected residents have the materials they need.
“When you see people hurting, it’s something that we want to do,” Gannaway said. “It’s helping other folks. I think that that’s in our hearts to do that.”
Gannaway predicted recovery efforts will last at least another five years.
“It is to make sure that every family affect by this flood is back in their home,” she said.
Skilled volunteers interested in registering with WV VOAD are encouraged to contact Ben Cisco at 304-235-2692 Ext 8 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organizations who want to make donations can call 304-881-2708.