We arrived in Beckley, WV (see here for why) Thursday night. On Friday, we delivered our donations to the United Way; then filled up with another vanful and convoyed north with another van to Summersville, WV, closer to the main flood area. There was a BIG donation center there in a strip mall.
Then we continued on our trip east through the mountains to Roanoke, VA, and onto Davison (NC) (where I’m writing from). It was on that drive that we saw some of the flood damage: many dozens of miles of homes with their ruined possessions piled outside. (See pic.) It seemed endless and surreal, and I’m sure things were even worse off on the side roads that we didn’t see.
We also saw lots of roads with the lee side washed out, lots of electrical lines down, etc.
It wasn’t all bleak. The people we met in Beckley and Summersville were GREAT, and wow, they really had their act together. Everything was super well organized, and there were tons of volunteers an
d a constant stream of people showing up with donations. (I’m the one holding the sign, btw; my partner, the Car Tetris champ, is
on my right. Go Hornets!)
Also, I had never been to West Virginia before and the terrain (the drive through the mountains) was outstanding.
Finally, we spent part of the time following these guys:
It’s a Mars crawler, and they (and we, behind them) crawled on those twisty mountain roads for ages, but being an astro fan girl I didn’t mind! (See also: NASA Robotics Alliance Project.)
More to report from our trip shortly. Hope you’re all having a great holiday weekend!
If you want to donate cash to WV, I believe the link in John’s post still works or here’s one to the Beckley United Way. If you’re local and want to deliver stuff, they seem to most need baby supplies, pet supplies, cleaning supplies, electric fans (to help dry things), and those big plastic storage tubs (like Rubbermaid) so people can protect their dry stuff.
Thanks for checking in. You have done good.
Thanks! Sorry for the poor photo formatting; I don’t have time to do better. i can hang around for just a few minutes this morning but then will have to split.
@Hillary Rettig: You did good!
the Conster, la Citoyenne
Good stuff, Hillary.
Good work, and thanks for updating us. It’s so easy to lose faith in humanity due to all the hatred, violence and meanness in the world. But then people like you show up to help strangers in need, demonstrating that there is beauty and kindness too.
thank you all! just to remind everyone, I got the original inspiration from John’s postings, and JR in WV offered valuable advice before we set off.
Good folk all around. Thank you for the kindness of your hearts.
Great update and job, Hillary and partner! Thanks!
Direct action, hand to hand caring matters! Good for the giver as well as the getter. Good on ya!
Good work Hillary; we’ve been through Summerville many times on the way south; did not realize the flooding impacted tht area.
I wish all you people would stop making me look bad, or I’ll have to find a more misanthropic blog to hang out at.
Three cheers for Hillary!
Great work Hillary — and Tetris partner as well!
Well done, Hillary Rettig. Did you see if FEMA workers were there? Or Did they say FEMA had taken applications for aid? Just curious.
Excellent! Great work. Excellent use of a road trip. Hope to see you in July.
Three Huzzahs for Hillary! Good work.
@Cat48: It sounded like they were expecting FEMA and the military to show up in the next week or so. I was surprised it would take so long but perhaps the system is that local operations show up immediately while FEMA and the military get their bigger operations organized. Maybe someone here has more info on how that works.
Great job Hillary! You’re an inspiration. Thanks for the report.
@Hillary Rettig: You’re doing a great mitzvah Hillary.
Thank you for your work.
Our church took up an offering today.
Doing well by doing good – hope you have a great trip! Keep us posted!
What a terrific idea for a road trip – good on ya, Hillary!
J R in WV
Both FEMA and the National Guard are already in place, video of Guards shoveling mud and carrying wet furniture to the trash piles on TV every night. FEMA taking applications for aid at offices scattered around the area.
Thanks for your effort Hillary, that was a good thing to do!
On your way home, you should stop at Tamarack in Beckley, it’s the arts and crafts place in this half of the country.
Please support and help the community libraries that got hit by these floods!
Wish I had known you were in Roanoke. I would have liked to meet you and say thanks in person.
Lovely of you to do, so glad your trip this far has been safe.