The number of Mingo County homes affected by flood water is somewhere around 4,000, and the number of people affected is approximately 1,000 said Emer-gency Management Director Jerrod Fletcher, adding it is hard to get a fair assessment because of road problems. Two roads are partially closed — Route 80 at Tamcliffe and Route 52 at Varney, both of which have one lane open — and Route 6, from Red Jacket to New-town is closed, Fletcher reported. Route 6 is already back in the construction stage, as Massey Energy announced the company would absorb the cost of replacing the road, Fletcher said, asserting the company is saving tax payers thousands of dollars.
The West Virginia Nat-ional Guard is assisting Mingo County Office of Emergency Services in providing relief to flood victims. Gov. Joe Manchin ordered about 300 Guard members Saturday to assist in the southern coalfields. Major Brent Schultz said yesterday there are about 220 Guard members delivering food and water to Mingo Countians in areas isolated to regular traffic. The members of the 111th Engineer Brigade, who are staging at the National Guard Armory in Wil-liamson, are also using ATVs to rescue people from isolated areas, Schultz said. A Blackhawk helicopter is also stationed in Mingo to get to people in the most isolated regions, Schultz said. The Guard members are assisting emergency crews and highway department personnel with clearing roads and will help with removing debris once the roads are clear.
“We’re here to help until its (the clean-up effort) completion,” Schultz said. “It’s neighbor helping neighbor.”
Mingo County emergency information can be found on page two in the Mingo County OES daily bulletin.
In neighboring Pike County Kentucky, Emer-gency Management Director Doug Tackett said around 1,700 were affected by flood water and/or mud slides, while about 12,000 were without clean water Saturday, as a result of the flooding which reached 279 of the counties 788 square-miles.
There were about 16 National Guard members assisting emergency crews in Pike County by delivering supplies to the numerous shelters throughout the county. The shelters are located at the volunteer fire departments in Johns Creek, Big Creek, Hatfield, Turkey Creek, Kimper, Viper/Pond Creek, Blackberry and Phelps; the Belfry Court-house, and at the Pike County Central and Belfry high schools, where the American Red Cross is also stationed.
People are not staying at the shelters, but are coming in to eat and take a shower and head back to their homes to clean and spend the night, said Tackett,
Emergency officials de-livered 6,000 gallons of clean water to Pike residents on Sunday and again on Monday, Tackett said, asserting there were still 7,000 homes without water as of Monday evening.
Although Mountain Wa-ter is working hard to correct the problems, Tackett said it may be the end of the week before the water is back in service.
Pike emergency management will be putting out information in local newspapers and on radio stations, Tackett said, urging citizens to look for the messages.
The Central West Virginia Chapter of the American Red Cross is working in Gilbert and Hanover in Wyoming County, with volunteers from Red Cross chapters in Morgantown, Clarksburg, Parkersburg, and the Eastern Panhandle, the Central office reported. There are currently about 20 volunteers in Mingo and Wyoming counties.
A shelter is up at the Freedom Gospel Church in Gilbert, where Heater Meals are available to people there. The Red Cross is providing bulk distribution of food, water, bleach and other clean up items at the Larry Joe Harless Com-munity Center.
Volunteers from the Beckley office were feeding residents at the Hanover Fire Department and makng food available for distribution in outlying areas of Wyoming County. Although hundreds were evacuated in Wyoming Saturday, man returned home before the day was over, the Independent Herald reported. Hanover was hardest hit by flooding in Wyoming, where Hanover Fire Department Chief Bernie Harper says 140 homes were damaged or destroyed and numerous wells were contaminated.