Former Greenbrier County 911 Director reflects on 1,000 year flood

1000-year-flood anniversary

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (WVNS) — First responders train for moments like the devastating floods, but nothing can truly ever prepare you.

For the former Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in Greenbrier County, Al Whitaker, that day was unimaginable. Whitaker, who had been a first responder since the age of 16, said the days were long. In fact, he did not get to go home for two weeks. For him, the most important thing about those long days, was making sure everyone was safe, even through some very scary moments.

“But being there, it was an eerie feeling, because there was a propane tank farm there, and you could hear them as the water was coming through. The tanks had the tops knocked off, and you could hear the spewing and could smell the propane everywhere. So, it was like ‘okay, am I going to make it out of here’,” Whitaker said.

Whitaker also said, it did not take long to realize the magnitude of damage and devastation the floods were going to leave on the community.

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