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National Guard now assisting Kanawha County in flood response

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia National Guard is now helping Kanawha County with response efforts following this week’s flash flooding in several communities north of the Kanawha River.

C.W. Sigman

Kanawha County Office of Emergency Management Director C.W. Sigman said Guard members are helping with a bridge issue in the Happy Town community of Hughes Creek and with damage to community recreational facilities in the Point Lick area of Campbells Creek.

The Guard has also been asked to look at creeks and streams for blockages and erosion so a plan can be developed to clear the sites.

“We need a little extra manpower and a little expertise,” Sigman said.

Sigman said the Guard looked at the bridge Friday morning and will work with state Division of Highways engineers to determine if anything additional can be done to widen the bridge to help get larger equipment across it to assist with flood cleanup. A second bridge going into Happy Town was destroyed by the high water.

The Guard is beginning to look into the other two requests, Sigman said.

“On the stream blockage piece of it, the (West Virginia) Soil Conservation Agency is out doing assessments right now and until we get a really good handle on where all of our stream blockages area we’ll reconvene with the National Guard to see how they can help us,” Sigman said.

Damage assessments continue. Sigman said as of Friday morning, there have been 166 damage reports submitted from homeowners in Kanawha County.

“We have 42 (homes) listed as major damage, 32 listed as minor damage and two destroyed,” Sigman said.

The homes listed as destroyed will need to be confirmed, he said.

Kanawha County will continue curbside debris removal efforts through Sunday.

Sigman said several volunteer teams will be in Kanawha County Saturday helping residents.

“The Red Cross, VOAD and a lot of faith-based organizations will be out. For the people who need help getting stuff to the curb they will be out there helping them,” Sigman said.

Those who need help with debris removal are asked to call the Kanawha County Planning Office at 357-0570.

The Kanawha County Commission thanked Gov. Jim Justice for his quick response on the request for assistance from the Guard.

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