Buchanan County seeks donations as cleanup of flooded neighborhoods is underway

Monetary donations can be made to the United Way of Southwest Virginia
Monetary donations can be made to the United Way of Southwest Virginia(WDBJ7)
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 9:40 PM EDT
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BUCHANAN COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Donations are going to Twin Valley Elementary Middle School in Buchanan County from all around the country.

Some of the biggest donation items needed are cleaning supplies and shovels to help with the aftermath of what floodwaters left Tuesday night.

Multiple organizations from across Virginia are in Buchanan County to help organize donation items. Water, trash bags, rubber boots and buckets are also needed.

The Virginia Department of Health is providing vaccinations and help with medications for affected residents.

“We are trying to protect the community by offering free tetanus vaccines for families that are working in flood recovery efforts and for first responders as well,” Michelle McPheren, a nurse manager for the Virginia Department of Health, said.

The CEO of United Way of Southwest Virginia explained the $100,000 in donations so far is a good start to the $4 million goal.

“$100,000 may buy two days of supplies for us to help these families when you think about the things that are needed from utilities, or if we have to help with generators, or if we have to help with storage and personal belongings, because everything has to come out of the homes,” Travis Staton said.

Any monetary donations can be made to United Way of Southwest Virginia

After the devastating floods took out nearly 100 homes on Tuesday night, families are trying to rebuild and reconnect. Ida Proffitt was one of the 44 people unaccounted for during the flooding.

“And they put out a missing persons because they couldn’t get ahold of me,” Proffitt said. “My granddaughter was so worried.”

She connected with her 17-year-old granddaughter days later.

“We didn’t have a phone, no water, no lights, no service, no nothing,” Proffitt said.

Truck loads of food, water and cleaning supplies have been coming in from all across the state to help those whose homes were washed away.

“I need cleaning supplies and stuff if I get back to my place and I’m going to need stuff to start me off,” Proffitt said. “And right now, there’s no money. Tragedy always happens when you least expect it.”

Many residents, like Proffitt, don’t have flood insurance and are currently staying in hotels.

“We were pitted on two houses and things just got a little bit more than we wanted to pay, so we just dropped it,” resident Carl Owens said. “Probably a lot of people didn’t have insurance.”

Relief crews are not accepting clothing donations yet, but instead are asking for cleaning supplies, water and shovels.

“You know everybody is just pitching in to help and they bring food,” Proffitt said. “If it wasn’t for the community, it’s hard to tell where we would be.”

Physical donations can be taken to Twin Valley Elementary School at 9017 Riverside Dr, Oakwood, VA 24631. United Way of Southwest Virginia is collecting monetary donations.

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