HARMAN, W.Va. — A lot of cleanup work had been done, but there was still much more work to do in a Randolph County town more than a week after devastating flash flooding.
“It’s been a big hit, but we’re going to survive and we’re going to come back and we’re going to be strong,” said Patty Teter, town recorder in Harman.
Randolph County was one of five counties — with Preston County, Tucker County, Grant County and Pendleton County — under a State of Emergency Declaration from Governor Jim Justice.
Damage assessments involving state and federal officials were ongoing throughout the storm zone to determine if the damage warranted a request for a Federal Disaster Declaration for the storms from Saturday, June 29th into Sunday, June 30th.
In some areas, more than five inches of rain fell in a span of just several hours.
Overall, “Supplies are good. Food is good. We need land clearing. A lot of farmers are in trouble,” Teter told MetroNews about conditions in Harman on Tuesday.
In addition to helping Harman residents with flood recovery, those with the Harman VFD were working on in-station repairs.
“We had to basically gut out everything — kitchen, bathroom, the walls, so far. We had one storage room, I don’t know how many feet of mud it had, probably at least two feet,” said Teter, who is also the secretary-treasurer of the Harman VFD, of the VFD damage.
“One fire truck won’t even move.”
On Route 33 east of Harman, sewer service was still out on Tuesday due to broken lines.
Involved in the overall flood response were the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the state Department of Environmental Protection and the West Virginia National Guard, with 16 solders on active duty, along with volunteer organizations.
Work included welfare checks, water distribution and debris removal in and around Harman.
Additionally, soldiers performed spillway work on the Horace Camp Pond Dam to bring down the water level there to below ten feet. On July 4, concerns about possible dam failure temporarily delayed Independence Day events.
Overall, Teter said she was happy with flood recovery efforts so far.
“The fact that there was no loss of life, that is just a blessing in itself,” he said.
“We just want to say ‘thank you’ to everybody. We’ve had an outpouring of support from, basically, all over the state and we are just so very, very thankful for it. It (the storm) could have be a whole lot worse. We could have lost a life, but we didn’t.”