Local VFDs assist flooded communities

BUCKHANNON — A year after flood waters devastated counties south of Upshur County, flooding struck again to the  north.
Local emergency responders rose up to help this year before the waters had all receded.
The Ellamore and Adrian Volunteer Fire Departments joined with Upshur County EMS to hold a boot drive on Sunday morning.
After the flooding hit Friday and Saturday, Ellamore VFD chief Jamie Pugh and Adrian VFD chief Rick Harlow started discussing ways to help.
Pugh made some calls Saturday to find out what was needed and he and Harlow talked early Sunday morning and decided to do an impromptu boot drive.
Both departments helped with flood relief down south in 2016 and the fire chiefs said giving back when fellow West Virginians need help is something they feel strongly about.
“It could have been us as well as them,” Pugh said.
Harlow agreed.
“It didn’t hit us last year,” he said. “It didn’t hit us this year. I’m sure they would help us if it would hit our area. It’s just helping our brothers out. The fire service is like that. No matter where you are, we are all a family.”
Pugh said the chiefs just decided at 9 a.m. Sunday to try to collect donations in a boot drive at the intersection of Route 20 and Tallmansville Road. They posted some announcements on Facebook and headed out for the boot drive from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There, they were joined by Upshur County EMS who also wanted to help.
The end result was $1,924 for two hours of collecting donations.
Harlow said, “I was amazed that we had that much money.  I recounted two or three times because I thought there was no way folks had given that much money but they were extremely generous.”
Pugh volunteered with about 10 others from Ellamore VFD, Warren District VFD and Washington District Volunteer Fire Company as well friends of the department in Mannington on Sunday afternoon.
He said that there were a lot of basements flooded there. The volunteers assisted the Mannington Fire Department with clean-up efforts in the community.
On Monday, Harlow, Pugh and Upshur EMS director Gloria Burr went shopping for supplies — bottled water, cleaning products and other items and Pugh took the first load to Hundred on Monday night.
Hundred Fire Department lost much of its apparatus due to flooding.
Pugh said that Hundred volunteer firefighters were out on calls related to the flooding when they tried to return to their station and found it flooded.
Harlow traveled to Hundred on Wednesday morning with donations and also saw the destruction.
The brush truck was spared and one engine was also spared but is leaking water which makes it not usable, according to Harlow.
“I dropped donations at the high school and went to the fire department and helped out for about three hours before work,” he said.
“It’s pretty devastating to see it up there. It’s a little different than down south — not as big a scale but still wiped everything out along the river.
“A lot of Main Street in Hundred has been condemned,” he said. “Water washed the foundations out from underneath the buildings.”
Pugh pointed out that fire departments from Clendenin and Pinch which suffered losses in their area last year are volunteering their time to help in Hundred and Mannington this year.

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