By Maj. Holli Nelson
| West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs | July 8, 2019
West Virginia Army National Guard Soldiers provide welfare checks, water distribution, and debris removal in and around Harman, West Virginia, July 7, 2019 to assist residents who were affected by flooding June 30, 2019. The Soldiers have distributed 65 cases of water and boxes of food to residents as well as delivered two water buffalos to provide potable water to those in need. (Courtesy photo) (Photo by Courtesy Photo)
Response and recovery efforts continued yesterday and today for the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM), West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), and the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) in Eastern West Virginia for areas impacted by heavy rainfall and flooding on Sunday, June 30, 2019.
The WVNG had 16 Soldiers on State Active Duty providing welfare checks, water distribution, and debris removal in and around Harman. Soldiers have distributed 65 cases of water and boxes of food to residents as well as delivered two water buffalos to provide potable water.
Additionally, Soldiers also performed spillway work on the Horace Camp pond dam, which has brought down the amount of water significantly to below 10 feet. Debris work of large rock and materials continues today, as well as other debris removal in the area. An addition liaison team of two Soldiers will assist Pendleton County emergency management officials starting July 7.
WVDHSEM is working with FEMA Region III to begin the official joint damage assessment for the affected counties to determine if the threshold for a federal disaster declaration has been met. WVDHSEM is also continuing work with local and state leaders to move forward with potential repairs to water and sewer infrastructure in the area.
Engineers from WVDEP were on site July 4 to the dam in Harman to perform a site visit, evaluate the condition of the structure and provide recommendations to those involved to ensure safety of the remaining structure and those who may be affected downstream in the event of a failure. WVDEP continues to maintain contact with local officials in the event further assistance is needed.
“All agencies involved in this response are doing a tremendous job in communicating effectively and delivering on the needs of the affected area,” said Mike Todorovich, Director of WVDHSEM. “Our State Emergency Operations Center continues to monitor and establish criteria and necessary actions for relief, while also maintaining contact with our emergency managers.”