Towns hit by 2016 floods to hold events, services to mark anniversary

Gazette-Mail file photo
Floodwaters block the road to Clendenin at the Interstate 79 exit on June 24, 2016.

To mark the anniversary of last year’s devastating flood, several West Virginia communities are planning services and events. Friday is the one-year anniversary of the flood, which killed about two dozen people and damaged or destroyed thousands of homes across central West Virginia.

n The Clendenin Ministerial Association is planning the Clendenin Area Remembrance Event for Friday and Saturday. The event will start at 7 p.m. Friday with a gospel sing featuring the Tanner Boys and the Gospel Harmony Boys in the parking lot of Smith’s Foodfair.

On Saturday at 10 a.m. at the football field at Herbert Hoover High School, an event will honor the memory of those who died and show appreciation for volunteers who have helped the community recovery, said the Rev. Scott Ferguson, of the ministerial association. There will also be food and activities. A group from Maryland is donating food, Ferguson said.

“We don’t want to celebrate because there’s still a lot of families not in their homes,” Ferguson said. “But we don’t want to forget either. The goal is to be able to remember [those] that perished and honor the volunteers and people who have gave of themselves to help our community get back up on its feet.

“It’s not a dirge or memorial service; we just want to remember,” he said.

n Celebration Recovery will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Clay County Courthouse Square in Clay. The event will feature food, prayer, gospel music, a balloon launch and candle lighting.

“We want to take time to look at how far we have come in Clay County since the horrific flood,” a flier posted on Facebook for the event reads. “We still have a ways to go to get back to a new normal, but we can if we continue to work together because we are Clay County Strong.”

n A candlelight remembrance service will mark the anniversary in Rainelle. The service is planned for 8 p.m. Friday in the Rainelle Town Hall.

n In White Sulphur Springs, the city and an event committee is planning three days of events starting with a dedication for a flood memorial 3 p.m. Friday at Old Mill Park, according to a Facebook page for the event. The dedication will include a reading of names of those who died in the flood. At 4 p.m., there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Nicely Park, which is located on Mill Hill Drive at the site of a home that washed away in the flood.

At 4:30 p.m., the community will dedicate Brad Paisley Community Park on Mill Hill Drive. The event will include a community picnic.

The night will conclude with music by Under the Gun from 5 to 9 p.m. From 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, there will be a family day on the parking lot of Old White Motors on Main Street. The family day — which will include art therapy, service dogs, face painting, counseling and more — will end at 2 p.m. with a balloon release.

From 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Midland Trail Park, there will be a concert by Wyatt Turner. On Sunday at 11 a.m., there will be a nondenominational church service at Brad Paisley Community Park.

n The town of Richwood will have a celebration and concert at 5 p.m. Friday at the Sterling Spencer Memorial Sculpture Garden. The event will include a potluck dinner, Mayor Bob Henry Baber said.

Reach Lori Kersey at

lori.kersey@wvgazettemail.com,

304-348-1240 or follow

@LoriKerseyWV on Twitter.

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