‘I want to go home’: Grundy residents assess historic flood damage

Distribution center assists with supplies
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 5:03 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 15, 2022 at 5:19 AM EDT
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GRUNDY, Va. (WWBT) - Two days after historic floods caused widespread damage across Buchanan County, Rachel Stanley and her husband Jessie put on brave faces and assessed the damage to what once was their mobile home in a neighborhood not far from Twin Valley High School.

“I never thought I would experience anything like this and now that I have it’s just devastating,” Stanley said as tears swelled in her eyes. “When your kids come up to you and say ‘Mommy I want to go home,’ I say I do too, but we can’t.”

Stanley’s small children ran around in the mud distracting themselves as she and her husband salvaged what was left of their home. Stanley says few things survived the force of her home being ripped off of its foundation when the water began to rise.

The mobile unit was left in twisted shambles wedged against another mobile home and an RV several feet from its original location.

“We’ve calculated our home drifted a good football field and brought our house here,” Stanley said. “We’ve lost everything We’re trying to salvage what we have, but we lost both vehicles. My other vehicle is about a mile that way down a creek and I don’t know how we’re going to get it out.”

Everything that was left of Stanley’s home was caked with mud and debris. She says she and her husband managed to get out of the house along with their three kids as the rising river breached their yard. She says she wouldn’t have made it if she and her husband didn’t act sooner.

Just a few miles down the road from Twin Valley High School, several other homes also slid off their foundations as concrete bridge barricades moved like small toys in a matter of hours.

Some families could be seen trying to clean up what they could, but people like 80-year-old Keene James said there was almost no point.

“What are you going to do, the damage has been done,” Stanley said.

James says although his house managed to stay in place, it’s now filled with several feet of mud. He and his neighbors say they are going to need all the help they can get.

“It takes an army,” Stanley said. “It would be great to get more help.”

Nearby there is a little hope. Twin Valley Middle & Elementary school has been operating as a distribution center since Wednesday - housing the Virginia Department of Emergency Manager, the Virginia Department of Health and the Red Cross.

“If they have some medicines that they’ve lost in the flood, we can help them replace those medications. And Social Services is here not only for the shelter, but trying to help with eligibility services, such as replacing your food stamps if you lost all your food during the flood,” Marcella Watson said.

Watson, the executive director of Buchanan County Social Services, has been running the distribution center. She says whether it’s food, water or tools, every donation helps.

“We’re preparing for an increase in numbers because I think once people learn that we’re here, they’ll be coming out more,” Watson said.

According to Watson, they’ve helped over 125 people get supplies, but they’ve also been driving a lot of the supplies to folks who are still stuck inside their homes because of the damage from the floods.

For people like Stanley who has practically lost everything, a helping hand means everything.

“Everybody who has given to us and messaged us, who has texted us, I can’t explain the emotions it gives you,” Stanley said.

Watson says you can call the distribution center at 276-498-4537 if you have questions.

Monetary donations can also be made for flood victims HERE.

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