Layne Miller (one of Pastor JP’s friends) leads a volunteer team from Aldersgate United Methodist Church in York, Pa., that was repairing a home in Clendenin, W. Va., that was damaged by flooding.
Story by Joey Butler, photos by Mike DuBose
September 21, 2017 | RICHWOOD, W.Va. (UMNS)
Tropical storms and hurricanes have names. They’re easy to remember. Unless it’s a birthday or wedding anniversary, it’s unlikely June 23 has any significance to you. But to anyone in West Virginia that date means deadly flash floods.
On June 23, 2016, 8 to 10 inches of rain fell in a 12-hour period. In the region’s mountainous topography, the water had only one way to go: downhill, and fast. The resulting flash flood led to 23 deaths and destroyed 5,000 homes.
Just over a year later, the flood has long faded from the headlines, but The United Methodist Church is still helping those trying to rebuild homes and lives.
The Rev. J.F. Lacaria, executive director of recovery for the West Virginia Conference, said his team now has 80 cases open and has closed 35.
“But the capacity for our two case managers is 30 open cases apiece, so we’re a little oversubscribed now,” Lacaria said.
Miranda Neighbors, one of the conference’s case managers, said that can be tough.
“People have low resources and you have to get creative about how to help them,” she said.