Local raft guides played big role during 2016 rescue efforts

1000-year-flood anniversary

RAINELLE, WV (WVNS) — Some raft guides played a huge role in the rescue efforts during the 2016 floods. Joseph Thacher and his buddies grabbed their rafts and headed to Rainelle to help during the rescue mission.

Thacher said the one thing he will never forget is how raft guides and emergency crews worked together to rescue people. With having the knowledge of how the water flowed, he was able to help bring people to dry land.

“You’re a resource we can use because you understand how water flows. So once we got that phone call, it became second nature. We gather our equipment up for ourselves and PFDs, and our drysuits. It just flowed very well; there was no thinking about it, it was like being on the river,” Thacher said.

Thacher said he believes they helped around 20 people that day. He said he was out with them from 9 p.m. to 10 a.m. the next day.

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