West Virginia flood wrecked 1,500 homes; $36M in road damage

AP News
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Posted: Jul 01, 2016 5:09 PM

CLENDENIN, W.Va. (AP) — The floods that ripped through West Virginia late last week and killed 23 people also destroyed 1,500 homes, ravaged 125 businesses and caused $36 million in damage to roads, state officials estimated Friday.

The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management released the initial damage assessments Friday. The state is awaiting a more formal assessment and damage dollar-figure from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Another 4,000 homes were damaged in the floods, state officials said. In some areas, homes were swept off their foundations by raging flood waters, with some houses even catching fire. Many homes were filled with feet of muddy water.

The storm decimated roads to the tune of $36 million in damage across 18 counties. Clay County was hardest hit, with $8.7 million in estimated destruction to its roads. Many roadways were peeled apart and, in some spots, even washed away completely.

FEMA already has approved millions of dollars to help individuals recover from the devastation.

On Friday, the federal agency also added two more counties, Lincoln and Jackson, to their list of those approved for individual assistance. In addition to those counties, the emergency declaration now includes Kanawha, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Fayette, Clay, Roane, Summers, Monroe, Pocahontas and Webster.

People affected by floods in those counties can apply for individual aid, which covers emergency medical support, housing and other immediate needs.

Also on Friday, all of the residents in one of the hardest-hit towns got back their tap water. They just can't drink it yet.

In a news release Friday, West Virginia American Water said it has restored tap water to all areas of Clendenin.

About 3,000 people around Elkview and Clendenin didn't have tap water the day after the June 23 floods.

Although water has now been restored to all households in that region, residents are being advised to boil it before using it.

Other areas of the state also lost tap water, and at the peak of the floods, tens of thousands of homes and businesses were without power. Only a few hundred were still without power Friday.