It’s been more than a week since 5.2 inches of rain fell on McMechen, a community that is terraced in a way that the muddy paths of flood-water flow are still very visible all the way down to the highway. Volunteers at the Center McMechen Elementary School estimated they’ve served as many as 100,000 meals to local folks during the past 10 days, and donations continue to roll into the community.
But a lot of damage was done, and homes were destroyed. Tom Hart, the director of the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency, reported four dwellings have been declared destroyed. More than half of the homes in the city were flooded by run-off or because the drains, clogged by a massive amount of mud and rock debris, overflowed. Officials from the state’s Department of Environment of Protection continue an investigation into private-sector developments above the city to see what impact those projects may have had to do with this flooding.
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Longtime residents have told county officials the amount of water reminded them of the flood of 1975, but no one recalls this much mud and rock.
Residents have had to work during the day and continue their personal recovery at night, and volunteers are still helping, but everyone continues to wait to see if the federal government will declare the city an emergency area eligible for far more funding. McMechen is a mess, and so much is destroyed. This photo series was designed to display the force of raging waters and how it moves what it needs to, and to show you how the community is combating the challenges.