Firefighter loses everything in flood waters while saving lives

1000-year-flood anniversary

RUPERT, WV (WVNS) — June 23rd, 2016 began like any other day until firefighters with the Rupert Volunteer Fire Department were called out when the weather started to take a turn.

They quickly realized people were stranded on Anjean Road and the bridge to get in and out of Rupert was completely underwater. Ronnie McClung was the Assistant Fire Chief at the Rupert Volunteer Fire Department. He said there was no time to think about their homes or personal belongings.

“It came up so fast that we were stranded. We couldn’t get back to our houses, we were so busy taking care of everyone else,” McClung said.

Firefighters spent the next two days getting people out of harms way. More than 20 people were taken out of the dangerous water just in the Rupert area of Greenbrier County. McClung had no idea his wife was one of them.

“I found out later my wife had to be rescued from the neighbors. By the time we got over here to rescue these people, she was already out at our daughter’s house,” McClung said.

McClung found out a few days later from his wife he wouldn’t have a place to come home to.

“I lost the house, my car, my tractor, my 4-wheeler, everything was floating,” McClung said,

Once the water receeded, McClung was able to get assistance from RISE. It took a few years, but he’s thankful to have a roof over his family’s head, and a place to call home.

As for the Rupert Volunteer Fire Department, they now have a swift water rescue team to be better prepared for whatever mother nature throws their way.

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