CLENDENIN, W.Va. — Marilyn Johnson, of Clay County, has been living with her daughter in Kanawha County since her home was destroyed in the historic June flood.
Now, she’ll be a stone’s throw away in a brand new tiny house next door.
The Greater Clay Long Term Recovery Group presented Johnson with keys to the new home in Clendenin during a House Blessing ceremony Thursday afternoon.
When flood waters ripped through West Virginia, Johnson was living in a trailer in Two Run.
“It got flooded and I was trying to get some help,” she explained.
“Way over the doors,” is how she described how high the water was inside her trailer. “You have a medium sized door like that,” she said as she pointed to her front door. “It was like half way (up).”
Johnson’s home is 1 of 15 tiny houses built by students and staff at Marion County Schools.
Logan Gaskin, a senior at Marion County Technical Center, said he learned a lot about construction and working together as a team.
“From framing to flooring to roofing to installation to wiring — everything,” he said. “The project has definitely brought everyone closer together, not only between staff and students, but the whole county.”
The recovery group had help from the state Board of Education, former Governor Earl Ray Tombin’s Office, the National Guard and more.
“It’s a blessing on both sides,” said Marcy Magness with the group. “I see all these beautiful blessings being given and all the people that come together as a community to make it happen — and I see people be blessed by having a home.”
During Thursday’s House Blessing, volunteers gave Johnson several gifts including a blanket, an electric can opener, picnic utensils/plates for her outdoor seating area and more.
“They’ve been such a help,” Johnson said. “I appreciate all of it.”
Volunteers are also building homes in Big Otter, Lizemore and at several other sites in Nicholas County.
Three churches were involved in the effort including the Church of Brethern, United Church of Christ and the West Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church — who paid for materials and utility hook ups.
So far, 9 of the 15 tiny homes have been placed on its foundation.