Search :

Surviving a Flood of Despair

Field Report by Carolyn Fraiser

Flood disaster relief

You Reached Out to a Hurting Mountain Community in Virginia

VIRGINIA – Nestled in the mountains of western Virginia, the community of Buchanan County has seen its share of heartache. High unemployment and gas prices had already left many to struggle with putting food on the table. Then the unthinkable happened. A flood disaster did incalculable damage to this community in Virginia.

One night in mid-July, a severe storm pounded the valley with heavy rain. The waters roared as the river overflowed its banks in the darkness. Elderly residents like Beulah were taken by surprise. Thankfully, her daughter Julie lived right next door and sent her husband to help. Beulah and her son-in-law clung to each other as they pushed through waist-deep water against the raging current until he was able to pull her to safety.

But the next morning, things didn’t look promising. The river had torn through Beulah’s trailer, ripping away her AC unit and leaving her home clogged with mud, sticks and debris. “It was just the mercies of God that the flood didn’t push it off its foundation and it didn’t go floating down the river,” Julie shared.

More than 400 homes like Beulah’s had been affected—some nearly or completely destroyed by the flood. Across the county, trees had fallen. Roads had crumbled into the river. Bridges were damaged or completely wiped out. Long-term resident and social services director, Marcella Watson, had never seen anything like it. “It’s going to take a good year or two for them to just restore and get back to where they were.”

All seemed hopeless, but help was already on the way.

Hope for the Community Following the Flood

“Operation Blessing just showed up out of nowhere,” said Julie. Thanks to your support, a team of volunteers got to work and dug the debris out from under her mother’s home after the flood disaster. With the space cleared, Julie could focus on getting the electricity turned back on and ensuring the foundation was steady so her mother would be safe.

But we didn’t stop there. Faithful friends and partners like you helped supply emergency meal kits to families in Buchanan County who had no electricity or running water to prepare what little food they had.

“I just don’t even have the words, because it means that they get to eat,” said Marcella, who’d worked tirelessly at a local shelter since the storm.

For families like Beulah and her daughter, it was an answered prayer. “God completes the work that He starts,” said Julie. “He is using you guys to do that.”

Recent Stories

more stories