Force of floodwaters reroutes creek near Minden

MINDEN, W.Va. — Various agencies are due back in the Fayette County community of Minden Tuesday to continue with damage assessments and assistance following flash flooding that occurred Sunday.

The Red Cross is working with the Fayette County Office of Emergency Management. Red Cross West Virginia Region Chief Executive Officer Erica Mani said they were able to get some assessment completed Monday.

Erica Mani

“There are some areas where the roads were washed out and bridges were washed out and other areas where it’s in the yards and others where it’s really affected inside the homes,” Mani said. “Some of these families have lost everything.”

Mani said the usually small tributary of Rock Creek couldn’t stay in its banks after six inches of rain in three hours.

“The power of the water actually changed the direction of the creek,” Mani said. “It came out of its creek beds and went into front yards and there’s mud in some of these homes.”

The Red Cross will have additional volunteers in the area Tuesday with cleaning kits.

“We should be able to get out there safely and help those folks with what they really need,” Mani said.

Gov. Jim Justice placed Fayette County under a state of emergency Sunday night which frees up state resources. West Virginia VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) joined the Red Cross in Fayette County Monday.

Gov. Jim Justice

Justice said the swift water rescue teams did rescues in the Minden area. Warm Hands and Warm Hearts in Oak Hill continues to operate a shelter for residents.

Justice said it’s going to take the state Division of Highways about 10 days to complete most the repairs to road shoulders, ditches and embankments. He said there’s also bridge damage including damage to a bridge approach on Old Minden Road.

Justice said it’s fortunate no lives were lost in the flooding.

“Please, as these people have had to evacuate homes, please, join Cathy (first lady Cathy Justice) and I in your thoughts and prayers as well,” Justice said during his media briefing Monday on the coronavirus.

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