Early Response Team at Work in W.Va.

Early Response Team at Work in W.Va.


The early response team of six – three adults and three teens – traveled to Rainelle, W.Va. for their work.

By Ross Porter, group leader
On February 18, a group of 3 adults and 3 teenagers arrived in Rainelle, W.Va., to volunteer in the aftermath of severe flooding that hit the state on June 23, 2016. We are in Greenbrier County, one of 14 counties affected by this flooding. Rainelle alone has over 150 homes that were under from 3 to 8 feet of water.

Work focused on shoring up the foundation of the trailer and adding trim to make it more attractive.
Rainelle United Methodist Church, under the guidance of Pastor Jonathan Dierdorf, has made their church open and inviting to volunteers. The church is also in the process of recovering from the flood. The top floor of the church has been renovated specifically for housing of the volunteers with showers, bathrooms and sleeping quarters (enough to house 25 volunteers). We also have use of their beautiful kitchen and extra large fellowship hall. 

Our work has been assigned to us by an Appalachia Service Project (ASP) center, which has opened a year round center in Rainelle to help with the rebuilding process. The center is staffed by a highly dedicated group of young adults giving us site assignments, tools, supplies and guidance . . . both structurally and spiritually.  

The team works on laying down gravel.
The site our group is assigned to is a trailer that is the future home to a family of 3, with a 5-year-old son. This family's home was destroyed in the flood which forced them to move to a trailer in poor conditions. Many groups have helped this family with their trailer; our job for the week is underpinning and installing vinyl skirting giving added foundation protection and a nice finished appearance. 

On Day 1 we cleaned out debris from beneath the trailer in order to lay down gravel to prevent moisture buildup. In addition, we spent lots of time with our homeowner and her son. Our hardworking homeowner was eager to help out with all of our work. She was very grateful and faithful.
On Day 2 we finalized the layout of the gravel beneath the trailer. In addition, we completed covering the electric wires laying in a previously dug ditch immersed now in rain. This was a multi-step process requiring a creative draining of the ditch, followed by a layer of gravel and topped off by another layer of local dirt (mud)!  The Beelick Knob community has been extremely welcoming and amazing to be apart of. The neighbors surrounding our homeowner have stopped by numerous times to say hello. Today we had an invitation to a neighbors farm, where we met his horses, cows, dog and kittens.