PILGRIM’S KNOB, Va. (WJHL) — After flood waters swept through part of Buchanan County last week, flood survivor James Keene is trying to salvage what he can, but there isn’t much left.
“It’s all gone. It’s no good,” Keene said.
The floods destroyed 32 homes and damaged dozens of others, according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
Keen said “it looked like a tidal wave coming in on an ocean.”
“It broke the windows out,” he said. “That door was closed over there, it was pushed open. All the water coming this way in and then it went all through the house.”
Losing his home of 20 years isn’t the only tragedy Keene has been forced to deal with lately. Last month, he lost his wife.
“On top of that, my wife just passed away June 11th…then this happened,” Keene said, adding that it has felt like he’s been in a daze for two months.
Now that the floodwaters have receded, Keene is digging through the mud to salvage his wife’s things.
“I was just looking for stuff that belonged to my wife. I wasn’t worried about my stuff,” he said.
“Because it was hers. It was sentimental. It belonged to her. I just wanted to save what I could for her memory.”
Keene and his wife Doris had been married 61 years.
“I couldn’t ask for no better person in this world, and I wouldn’t trade her for all the money in the world,” he said.
Keene and his dog are currently staying in a hotel, at least through the end of the month. He isn’t sure what will come after that.
To donate to the Buchanan County 2022 Disaster Fund, text GIVE to 276-200-2440 or click here.