BUCHANAN COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) — With everyone now accounted for after floodwaters swept through parts of Buchanan County Tuesday night, the focus now turns to recovery.
Emergency officials told News Channel 11 Thursday afternoon that they believe around 400 structures were impacted by the flooding. Further damage assessment will begin Friday.
Thursday night, neighbors were taking care of each other in a community devastated by flooding.
Pallets of water and supplies arrived at Twin Valley School, which has become the hub for direct relief for those impacted by the flood.
“It helps. Every little bit there helps, and that they’re there means a whole lot,” said Randall Matney, who lost multiple structures.
Appalachian Power said it hopes to have most customers back online by Friday, but many are still without power and water. Crews are working to restore both, but it will take time.
“There’s so much messed up. I couldn’t give you a time limit on that,” said David Rose of the Buchanan County Public Service Authority. “It’s devastating.”
Efforts to get power and water back on are being hampered by washed-out roads and damage to homes.
In Vansant, one church became the hub of emergency operations, providing food and drinks to first responders. But as the emergency response wraps up, the focus has changed to proving relief.
“We’ve already sent several loads of cleaning supplies up to the area that was most affected,” Vansant Church of Christ Pastor Mike Rife said.
Several church-goers came to volunteer, like Phyllis Scott, who is helping out despite a close call with her elderly sister-in-law.
“Wanda had no idea that it had flooded the whole first story. If her daughter-in-law hadn’t come to get her, we wouldn’t have known. We couldn’t get to her,” Scott said.
People are helping out as much as they can, but some believe widescale aid is necessary for a long-term rebuild.
“We need FEMA to come in here and help people,” Matney said. “See last year, Guesses Fork, they got a similar situation to this and the government just throwed them to the dogs.”