FEMA Trailers Requested for Wetzel County Residents Impacted by Flooding
HUNDRED — An estimated 80 percent of Hundred residents impacted by flash flooding late last month do not have flood insurance, emergency officials told U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin on Monday.
Manchin, D-W.Va., toured flood-ravaged areas of the Northern Panhandle on Monday, beginning his day in the Wetzel County communities of Hundred and Littleton before heading north to McMechen and Wheeling.
“What can I do for you?” Manchin asked state and local officials gathered at Hundred High School, where the main school building escaped significant damage but the athletic complex was covered by as much as 7 feet of water during the flood.
Lead volunteers and officials stressed to Manchin that Hundred needs to keep its people in the town. Businesses and homes — many of which are rental property — were damaged, leaving many residents without a place to live or work.
It was noted that an estimated 80 percent of Hundred’s residents affected by the flooding do not have flood insurance. Concerns also were expressed about damage to the area’s roads and bridges.
Manchin used a telephone at the high school to call the Federal Emergency Management Agency, requesting trailers for displaced residents. It was noted it could take up to 30 days for FEMA to fulfill the request, although Manchin requested that the matter be expedited.
There are concerns as to where the trailers would be placed, however.
Manchin also called leaders at the West Virginia Department of Transportation. Manchin said the department would quickly send everything necessary to fix the roads and bridges as soon as it can compile a list of what is needed.
Residents also expressed frustration with governmental red tape preventing them from clearing creeks and streams that have areas blocked by fallen trees.
Several other issues were discussed, including cellphone service. Manchin said Congress is researching the matter but noted it could take a year or two to see movement on the issue.
Delegate Dave Pethtel, D-Wetzel, said cellphone service providers do not want to pursue the matter because there are not enough consumers in the rural areas.
Residents also discussed the current Windy Ridge dump site where flood-damaged items are being placed. It was noted trucks are needed to pickup the items and deliver them to the county landfill on Cider Run.
Furthermore, residents requested dumpsters and noted that new power poles will need installed in the town. It also was suggested that New Martinsville could help Hundred clean streets of mud and flood debris.
Flood recovery also continues in the Pine Grove area. On Friday, officials reported that the National Guard would be coming to the town to aid in the flood relief efforts.
On Friday, Pine Grove Mayor Barbara King announced that town employees are getting several sewer pits completed and are working on water leaks that have plagued the system, complicating flood cleanup efforts. King thanked residents for their patience and prayers.
Ways to assist with flood cleanup are available through The Gabriel Project and the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce.
The Gabriel Project’s Wetzel County site has been collecting donations at the Bayer Heritage Federal Credit Union’s New Martinsville and Proctor locations. Requested items include diapers, hygiene items, wipes, baby food, formula and cereal.
The chamber of commerce is accepting monetary donations for flood assistance in the Hundred and Pine Grove areas. Checks, made payable to the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce with “flood assistance” in the memo line, can be sent to the chamber at P.O. Box 271, New Martinsville, WV 26155.
Also, in Hundred, volunteers are needed to clear mud and sanitize homes, as well as perform carpentry, plumbing, electrical and other specialty work. A volunteer reception center, open from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, is located at the old West Virginia State Police barracks across from the high school.