BRADSHAW, WV (WVNS) — Wednesday, February 13, 2020 the West Virginia National Guard will start collecting debris from homes impacted by recent flooding in McDowell County. However, for some people, the trash that now lines the streets, was not trash at all.
Piles of debris line the streets of neighborhoods hit hardest by recent flooding, but among that debris are things that can never be replaced.
Ashley Jones lives along a creek that rose several feet during the flooding. Her mother and grandmother are her neighbors.
“Luckily, no one lost their house, but a lot of your personal mementos, toys, pictures, anything you had in totes is pretty much ruined,” said Jones.
Two weeks after high water swept through some areas of McDowell County, people unloaded hundreds of pounds of debris, mostly from flooded basements. Jones said water in her mother’s basement was up to her waist.
Anything stored in basements is now trash. Teresa VanDyke, Director of McDowell County 911 Office of Emergency Services, said debris had to be in front of the impacted homes by Tuesday evening.
“We have contacted some state resources and we have the National Guard going to come down and pick up the debris as a curb service,” said VanDyke.
Jones said the debris from her mother’s basement was not just valuable to her mother, but to the community. Her mother hosts kids day every summer, spending a lot of time and her own money creating games and providing prizes.
“It’s all free, you don’t have to pay for anything for it. You just come and bring the kids and you get to play games and everything,” said Jones. “She lost a lot of those toys and it’s really sad because it was her giving not taking.”
Those toys are now in soggy trash bags waiting to be hauled off to a dump, leaving her family to fight mold in their damp basement, so she can bring sunshine to the kids once again.
Officials at the Office of Emergency Services said anyone impacted by floods should act fast when it comes to getting rid of mold. The McDowell County Health Department will provide information on the best removal methods.