HUNDRED, W.Va. — Members of the Hundred Volunteer Fire Department spent the last two years working to raise money for a new fire hall. They moved into it in mid-July. Last Friday night those members were helping their neighbors even as their new shiny station went under water.
“I was with the design, getting the loan, picking paint colors all along the line. I’m just devastated,” said Hundred Volunteer Fire Department President Johanna LeMasters. “It’s been two and a half years trying to get it built and get in here. We were her for just two weeks.”
The area where the new fire hall sits had never been flooded before Friday’s torrential rain. To make matters worse, as the waters rose into the fire hall, members were in the field assisting other residents who were in peril.
“Five of our firemen lost their vehicles,” LeMasters said. “They parked here to go on water rescues helping people out. There was no water here at that time and now their vehicles are destroyed.”
Insurance adjusters were at the fire hall on Monday assessing the damage. The mess was overwhelming, and more than the fire department members could handle. The insurance company agreed to hire a professional cleaning company to come into the fire hall. Meanwhile members were back in the field assisting others.
“They’re helping others right now,” LeMasters said. “We have so many other departments helping us. One fire hall from Wirt County is handling a rescue across the river where a bridge washed out and we have members from the Marion County rescue squad here manning the station.”
The fire hall has also gotten help from some who know what they’re going through.
The Summersville Fire Department called with a donation Sunday, and LeMasters said the Richwood Fire Department showed up Sunday with a load of supplies including water, generators, cleaning supplies, and a cash donation. A year ago, those two fire departments were living the same nightmare.
The Hundred Fire Department also had at least two fire department apparatus destroyed when water filled their bays.
State Delegate Dave Pethtel, a Democrat who represents Wetzel County, described the damage there during an appearance today on MetroNews’ “Talkline.”
Pethtel is a native of Hundred.
“The damage is just total devastation. I’ve lived here my whole life, and I’ve never seen water this high before,” Pethtel said.
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) July 31, 2017