HARMAN, W.Va. — Don Smith isn’t one to get worked up too quickly, but he admitted the constant rainfall Sunday morning caused him to become nervous.
“It was thundering and lightening one right after the other–it even shook the house. It would rain hard for a while, then slack up a little bit, then start pouring again,” he said in an interview with MetroNews. “I was worried because I live close enough to the river I could hear it.
He kept checking out his back door on Horsecamp Run during the early morning hours with a flashlight.
“As long as it was still in the banks, I wasn’t worried, but the last time I checked it was up to my first step and I thought it’s time to go.” he said.
The question was whether he could go. Large rocks were starting to wash into the road and the highway near his home was covered in a foot of water as well. He got his truck and pulled out of the driveway in time to miss giant sized rocks which now rest there.
“If I hadn’t left when I did, I wouldn’t have gotten out,” he said.
He intended to drive across the road, into a cattle pen, and up the hill to ride out the storm in the comfort of his truck cab on higher ground. But rocks had washed into the entrance and wedged the gate shut, so he abandoned the truck and walked up on the hillside and waited in the elements.
“I had a flashlight and I’d go down and check the water in the road,” he said.
He left his perch as the first light of Sunday morning appeared. He was pleased to find although his yard was littered with debris and the nearby roads and community were shredded, his house hadn’t’ been touched.
Smith and his community however have a lot of cleanup work lying ahead.