RECORD FLOODS IN WV

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RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by LadyTevar »

First: I and all my family are ok. Worst damage is a couple yards with new ditches that will need filled in, but dozens of other families were not so lucky. One acquaintance and her entire extended family are now in a hotel; they lost house, cars, everything to flood waters. Several hundred people are still trapped at a shopping plaza because the bridge washed away... the businesses there are helping out as best they can. Powerlines are down, water systems compromised, it's BAD BAD.

Second: I'm going to send you to WCHS News Website for all the updates, including where to send donations.
At least 20 people, including an eight-year-old boy and a toddler, have died in flooding in West Virginia, according to state officials.
Heavy storms and flooding have caused widespread damage throughout the state, said Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
A state of emergency was declared in 44 of the state's 55 counties.
Rescue efforts were under way for about 500 people trapped in a shopping centre while officials continued to search for others stranded in devastated areas.
The flooding has destroyed more than 100 homes and knocked out power for thousands after a storm system dumped nine inches of rain on parts of the state.
The governor said 200 National Guard soldiers were carrying out search and rescue efforts as well as health and welfare checks in eight counties across the state.
A church pastor told the AP news agency an eight-year-old boy slipped, fell into a creek and was swept away.
The boy's mother attempted to save him but lost her grip on the child, according to Harry Croft, pastor at Marwin Church of the Nazarene at Wheeling.
The child's body was found about a half-mile from where the family lives.
The body of a four-year-old boy was also recovered a day after the child slipped into a creek swollen with flood waters.
Ravenswood Fire Department official Bob Bibbee said the toddler was with his grandfather when he fell into the water in Jackson County.
The grandfather jumped into the creek to try and save the boy, but was overcome by the rushing water.
Governor Tomblin called the flooding "among the worst in a century for some parts of the state".
Now: I have a picture on my Facebook of a local landmark, called Long Point. It's about 500m upstream from Summersville Dam, in the middle of the lake. Normally, the top of the cliff at Long Point is usually 25m above the lake. The picture I posted shows the lake has risen by ~18m. The lake follows the original riverbed, so it's a twisty snake about 300m at the widest. One math genius has called it an excess of 2Million Cubic Meters, backed up behind that single dam.
And it's only one of several dams along the rivers leading through Southern WV. The scary part is there are hundreds of lesser dams, built over the decades by coal companies to hold their mine tailings. Some of these dams are at the head of hollers, above schools and houses. One of them already burst and left the town of Richwood underwater. I fear what will happen if others start to go.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by LadyTevar »

FUCK... This just reported in: WVVA news
GREENBRIER COUNTY (WVVA) -
White Sulphur Springs is one of the areas hit hardest by the storms.

One resident is waiting by the phone, his wife in a hospital burn unit. WVVA's Alison Wickline spent the day in her hometown and spoke with the man about how personal this storm got. (Video)

"It's a miracle, I mean I don't know how. I do not know how,” says White Sulphur Springs resident Ronnie Scott.

Scott is in shock. His house is in pieces. But it's his wife, Belinda, that's on his mind. Belinda was the only one in the house Thursday evening. She fled to the attic when floodwaters hit. But how could she have guessed that natural gas would fill the home and cause it to explode, throwing her into a nearby tree.
For hours, Belinda clung to the tree...her family and neighbors trapped in the tops of their houses right down the road. But then help arrived and Ronnie says it was the heroic work of his friends and neighbors that got his wife out alive.

"Jason Barnett with the state police came down and he's the hero, he rescued my wife, and then got the rest of my family out of here,” says Scott.

Almost 70 percent of Belinda’s body is burned. She remains In Cabell Huntington Hospital's burn unit. The road to recovery may be a long one, but Ronnie says his wife is strong and his faith is strong and this storm is proof.

"I’m telling everybody you need to pray, i prayed and prayed and prayed and prayers will be answered, “says Scott.

Alison has decided to help raise money for Belinda. Click on +http://mk2.gofund.me/2b3dzss?rcid=c5555 ... 764e065880 or copy and paste +https://www.gofundme.com/2b3dzss to make a donation.
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The family is hopeful, but Ms. Scott was heavily burned, then exposed to flood waters and the elements until rescued. The risk of a life-threatening infection is high.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by LadyTevar »

Under GOOD NEWS:
The church I grew up in, Ansted Baptist Church, has taken in 300 people (and their pets) from a neighboring town that is under 10+ft of water. My family and schoolmates have been seen in the background as news-crews film the scene, and it makes me feel very good to see everyone helping out.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by madd0ct0r »

Holy fuck. Those old mining dams are not good news.

Be careful of landslips, espcially in areas where the waters have just receeded. The sodden soil is heavy and weak, and sometimes its only the weight of the water in front of it that kept it from coming away from the slope. Anywhere the ground has "ripples" running across slope has failed and moved in the recent past, and is probably only just stable on a good day.

good luck
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by Zixinus »

I wish you and everyone there the best of luck and safety for all family and loved ones, as well as swift recovery for everyone that has been hurt or had their livelihood destroyed.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by U.P. Cinnabar »

LadyTevar wrote: The family is hopeful, but Ms. Scott was heavily burned, then exposed to flood waters and the elements until rescued. The risk of a life-threatening infection is high.
Especially given her age.

Glad to hear you and your family are okay, Tev.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by Crazedwraith »

Glad you're okay and hope everyone remains safe.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by Joun_Lord »

Thankfully my family wasn't hit too bad save the husband of an aunt I didn't even know I had (shows you how close I am to that side of the family). Some of the places I used to live where hit pretty bad so I have an idea how bad it could have been. Seeing Richwood, where I lived as a kid for a spell, buried under water really makes me thankful.

I'm also thankful my god-mother didn't get flooded again. Its kinda funny in a dark way, she lives on pretty much a flood plain that constantly gets flooded. FEMA is apparently buying up all the properties there because I guess thats cheaper then paying for flood damages constantly. She just got flooded pretty bad less the a year ago. What I guess funny is the fact she seems to be one of the few places to avoid high waters.

Kinda sickening the people making jokes like "they're hillbillies so they're fat so they should float" and in response "no they are all skinny from meth now" among poking jabs about incest or recent water troubles WV has faced. Really shows how much some people care.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by Sea Skimmer »

That really sucks, I saw that rain on the radar and thought it might be a bit of flooding, but not like this. But of course America shouldn't care, it was clearly everyone's free choice to live somewhere that has rain, as opposed to growing a green lawn in parched desert!

FEMA and the Federal Flood Insurance program have been working together since around the time of those early 90s Mississippi floods to buy out or move the houses of the worst affected properties but its slow going and naturally focused on the Mississippi valley first. It does work out to be much cheaper in the long run, all the more so when reduced search/rescue/rehousing costs are considered in the event of heavy flooding.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by Broomstick »

The thing is, I gather this time around there was epic flooding in areas not normally prone to flooding.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by Sea Skimmer »

Certainly it was not the typical summer storm. But as far as I can tell all of it is within the 100 year flood event threshold, in both theoretic calculation and actual records. It looks like in the 1940s the area got similar flooding. Said distinction is important since in some areas we are finding that our 100 year flood calculations are grossly wrong, either from climate change or bad data. Anyway Fed law only covers 100 year flood protection, so projects like buyouts and levees can't get funds for events outside of this range. Which is a long term planning problem, we should be thinking in 1000-2000 year floods for key stuff, but the US has so damn many floodable areas one can also see the point of placing the threshold low and more akin to the lifespan of many things we build, like say concrete and steel bridges. Its more troublesome when it means people might drown, but welcome to freedomland.

Can't say I have any idea what housing sale disclosure laws would say on this. You have to disclose all kinds of possible things in PA but I don't think I saw '100/20/5' year flood events on the paperwork the one time I looked it over.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by Elheru Aran »

When I bought a house a few years ago the seller's agent had to give us some notes on flooding within the past... I think the increments were year, five years, and ten years. That's a varies-by-state thing, of course.

Of course, that doesn't really allow for 50- or 100-year-level type things... and I live on a decent hillside, so unless it gets *really* bad (like apparently it did here) I'm not particularly at risk.

I assume that in this case, the mountainous nature of the state worked against it to some degree, as it contained the water that might have otherwise drained away in a flatter state. Is that wrong?
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by Sea Skimmer »

The steeper the ground is the greater the depth of flooding, but this also means a smaller total area is affected by flooding at all. But you can't really put a house on the side of a mountain either. West Virigina is some of the oldest topography on the planet, it is very steep and eroded made worse by the recent history of clear cutting the entire state. I don't live their but I used to vacation in the state a lot, many many places just a few yards could make a huge difference in floods like this, because elevation changes so quickly. Land that is flat hardly exists.

The thing about 100 year flood events is they are merely a paper concept of a flood that should happen once every 100 years on average, assuming the numbers are accurate in the first place. Nothing actually stops such a flood from happening say, twice in 20 years. More and more in the US we are finding 100 year flood events are happening multiple times in one century, indicating either the original calculations were wrong or the (always) ongoing process of climate change is affecting the records. This is only going to get worse going forward.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

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The last time WV was hit this bad was 2001. So much for 100-yr floods. :roll:
There's another storm front moving in by morning. :banghead:
The death toll is up to 26, and people are still missing. :(
BUT, the report of the dam breach above Richwood was WRONG. The dam had been built to withstand a certain volume of water, and had safety channels for the overflow in case of massive deluge. It worked exactly as designed, and the flood remained "contained" to the lower-lying areas.

We have large numbers of people in shelters, who are getting aid from local churches and other civic groups. FEMA is arriving, Red Cross is on the job, the Natl. Guard is air-dropping supplies to folks trapped up hollers, and to the First Responders helping them. The WV State Unemployment Office has put out a call that it will PAY unemployed workers to clean up the flooded areas, and along creeks and rivers where the debris is piling up.

I went up to my Mom's today, and got a look at a couple areas along the way. Trees had been cleared where they'd fallen, powerlines were being re-strung in a few places, and gravel was being removed from streets via Snowplow. In a couple places water was still flowing over the road, because the culvert that normally diverted the water had been plugged by silt or covered by mudslide. But these were sites of minor flooding.
Many harder hit places remain impassable, either due to high water, mudslides, or other flood damage. Those places where people can get back in, they're in desperate need of cleaning supplies.

Worse, a couple places are reporting signs of looters -- and one County Sheriff released the following to the press:
Fayette County Sheriff's Department
PRESS RELEASE:
The Fayette County Sheriff's Office has received reports of looting and theft in the Nallen/Russellville area. Sheriff Steve Kessler released the following statement concerning this situation (bolding the amusing part):
The Nallen/Russellville area suffered extensive damage during the recent floods. Many citizens of this area have lost everything. We are now receiving reports of looters and thieves coming into the area. This WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!
Sheriff's Deputies will be initiating extra patrols in this area and the citizens have also implemented armed patrols to protect what is left of their homes and possessions. "Anyone we catch looting will be arrested and jailed," said Sheriff Kessler. "If the residents of this area catch you first, you may not make it to jail. If you are not a resident of this area and don't have family members in the area you are trying to help, you need to stay out of this area."
I'll simply note that Nallen/Russellville is considered 'redneck' even by WV standards, and is known for signs like "Protected by Smith&Wessen" and "Trespassers will be shot; Survivors shot again". :twisted:
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by Purple »

LadyTevar wrote:I'll simply note that Nallen/Russellville is considered 'redneck' even by WV standards, and is known for signs like "Protected by Smith&Wessen" and "Trespassers will be shot; Survivors shot again". :twisted:
Are those really a thing? Like, I don't mean are those a thing physically. I know they are. But like do the people putting those up actually genuinely want to follow up on the threat?
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by Gandalf »

Purple wrote:
LadyTevar wrote:I'll simply note that Nallen/Russellville is considered 'redneck' even by WV standards, and is known for signs like "Protected by Smith&Wessen" and "Trespassers will be shot; Survivors shot again". :twisted:
Are those really a thing? Like, I don't mean are those a thing physically. I know they are. But like do the people putting those up actually genuinely want to follow up on the threat?
Given that the sheriff's department is apparently warning people to stay out of the area unless they have family there, it seems so. Times of disaster make ammosexuals feel like they have a chance to play hero with their big manly guns.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

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Purple wrote:
LadyTevar wrote:I'll simply note that Nallen/Russellville is considered 'redneck' even by WV standards, and is known for signs like "Protected by Smith&Wessen" and "Trespassers will be shot; Survivors shot again". :twisted:
Are those really a thing? Like, I don't mean are those a thing physically. I know they are. But like do the people putting those up actually genuinely want to follow up on the threat?
Yes. They do.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by LadyTevar »

Purple wrote:
LadyTevar wrote:I'll simply note that Nallen/Russellville is considered 'redneck' even by WV standards, and is known for signs like "Protected by Smith&Wessen" and "Trespassers will be shot; Survivors shot again". :twisted:
Are those really a thing? Like, I don't mean are those a thing physically. I know they are. But like do the people putting those up actually genuinely want to follow up on the threat?
Broomstick is right. If they have reason, they will take the shot, and most of them have deer rifles that are accurate for 500+yds and can drop a deer at that range with ease.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by Elheru Aran »

Technically, they're supposed to issue a warning first... but some states consider the presence of signs to be sufficient warning, and if someone doesn't happen to see the "clearly posted" signs... welp. Sucks to be them.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by Broomstick »

It's not a region known for being concerned with legal nuances. Also very self-reliant - if they shoot you they'll also take care of body disposal themselves. Apparently abandoned mine shafts are popular for that sort of thing.

These are folks who are inclined to shoot trespassers during normal times. During a natural disaster they'll be even less welcoming, and if they catch you looting... well, you won't be seen again.

All of which is very different than being invited to their homes. Under those circumstances they can be quite hospitable.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by Elheru Aran »

Yeah. I mean, if the cops take a head count later on and a few people turn up missing, they would probably ask some questions, get a few blank stares in return, eventually shrug and write them off as casualties of the flooding. If they really wanted to pursue the case they could press a little harder... but in times of natural disaster, people just go missing sometimes. That's how it goes.

Now in a regular time of day with no natural disaster underway, yeah, rather more pointed questions might be asked, cadaver dogs brought out and all that, and someone *could* get slapped with manslaughter, because like it or not shooting someone just for being on your property isn't necessarily going to fly, legally speaking.

Anyway, this is a digression. I saw Tevar post last night that they were going to have more rain coming their way... (EDIT: On Facebook, that is. I'm friends with her there, as I know some of us are)
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by LadyTevar »

Update, from Charleston Newspapers:
ANSTED, W.Va. (AP) — Two men who were presumed dead when a camper was swept away in rushing waters during the West Virginia floods were found alive, officials said Monday as more heavy rain fell on already-soaked parts of the state.

The discovery of the men lowers the death toll to 23, officials said. That number includes 20 bodies found and three people who are missing and presumed dead.

The National Weather Service warned downpours Monday could bring a half-inch of rain or more in some areas ravaged by flooding, including Greenbrier, Kanawha and Nicholas counties.

“Everybody’s just keeping an eye on the sky” as search and rescue teams continue to check whether everyone is accounted for, Rock said. If the storms intensify, rescue crews may have to pull back.

Early indications are that hundreds, perhaps thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed. The only county to give an updated number to state officials was Roane County, which reported 500 properties damaged. Teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are taking stock of the disaster and National Guard crews were removing debris.

More than 400 people were staying in 17 shelters across the state, and many people were trying to come to grips with ruined property and where they’ll live next. Others formed armed patrols to protect what was left of their homes and possessions after reports of looting.

Authorities have yet to start sizing up the flood damage in West Virginia. But it is drawing comparisons to November 1985 floods that remain the state’s most expensive natural disaster with more than $570 million in damage.
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by Joun_Lord »

Elheru Aran wrote:Yeah. I mean, if the cops take a head count later on and a few people turn up missing, they would probably ask some questions, get a few blank stares in return, eventually shrug and write them off as casualties of the flooding. If they really wanted to pursue the case they could press a little harder... but in times of natural disaster, people just go missing sometimes. That's how it goes.

Now in a regular time of day with no natural disaster underway, yeah, rather more pointed questions might be asked, cadaver dogs brought out and all that, and someone *could* get slapped with manslaughter, because like it or not shooting someone just for being on your property isn't necessarily going to fly, legally speaking.

Anyway, this is a digression. I saw Tevar post last night that they were going to have more rain coming their way... (EDIT: On Facebook, that is. I'm friends with her there, as I know some of us are)
Certainly some WVians are liable to shoot first and ask questions never even when it isn't a natural disaster. People are highly protective of their property and while it is a stereotype there is some minor truth to the "wild redneck distrustful of strangers" stereotype. Most people of WV though are nice as hell and don't want to kill anything except deer and squirrels (something I never really could do, too cute) but as in most places its probably best to not be tramping around someones property uninvited.

Yeah we are definitely getting more rain. Its still fairly clear out right now but even as I type I can hear distant thunder and my cat has just wiggled her way under my bed.

I'm really fucking hoping the rain is light and doesn't destroy the clean-up efforts.

And there has been some pretty impressive community clean-up efforts, people coming together to help out. I bit away from here in Clendenin there was a small army of volunteers cleaning up. My mom made a quasi racist joke when she saw it on the news about how things have changed in 30 years considering half the volunteers were blacks, something apparently unheard of in the area 30 years ago (she used to live there around the time).

I'm also hoping the rains don't flood the areas that weren't flooded before in sort of a fuck you from God. Of course I'm mainly hoping there is no more flooding at all.
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LadyTevar
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by LadyTevar »

Back to the "Looters will be shot" discussion, there's a large section of the WV Code that defines Criminal Trespass out in detail, including this part that concerns posting of No Trespassing signs:
(4) "Posted land" is that land upon which reasonably maintained signs are placed not more than five hundred feet apart along and at each corner of the boundaries of the land, upon which signs there appears prominently in letters of not less than two inches in height the words "no trespassing" and in addition thereto the name of the owner, lessee or occupant of the land. The signs shall be placed along the boundary line of posted land in a manner and in a position as to be clearly noticeable from outside of the boundary line. It shall not be necessary to give notice by posting on any enclosed land or place not exceeding five acres in area on which there is a dwelling house or property that by its nature and use is obviously private in order to obtain the benefits of this article pertaining to trespass on enclosed lands.
We do make running jokes about dropping well-deserving people down abandoned coal mines to make sure they vanish, and as WV has the largest percentage of military veterans in the US, they can get come up with very creative ways to vanish a body. Most of it is dark humor and muttered ill wishing.
However, my step-nephew went to a party at a known drug-dealer's place and was missing for a week. The police found a bonfire pit that had been kept burning for hours, and when investigated, cremated human remains were found in the pit. Forensic experts in DC matched DNA to his mother and sisters. That was 2008 -- the police finally had enough evidence to arrest and convict the bastard last year. :evil:
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Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
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LadyTevar
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Re: RECORD FLOODS IN WV

Post by LadyTevar »

Joun-Lord, wherever you are right now, the storm's already hit Charleston and is moving up the Kanawha.
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Librium Arcana, Where Gamers Play!
Nitram, slightly high on cough syrup: Do you know you're beautiful?
Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet
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