Flood victim remembered one year after 2016 floods
ELKVIEW, WV (WCHS/WVAH) —
Joni Adams, a retired South Charleston Middle School teacher and avid runner lost her life the day of the floods, June 23, 2016.
Her loved ones said they will never forget when they heard the news.
"Devastated, devastated, not just for me but for anyone that ever knew her,” Adams’ good friend, Corlyn Debord said.
Adams ran the Charleston Distance Run for Decades. She loved teaching and helping the community.
She's been honored in many ways including a 5K race called "Miles for Joni," a memorial walk at the middle school and a walking trail was dedicated to her at the Kanawha Charleston Humane Association.
Adams' good friend, Sandy Boswell, died alongside her that day. They were in Adams' basement in Elkview trying to save some belongings as floodwaters rose too fast to escape.
Debord worked with Adams at the middle school and was supposed to have lunch with her the day of the floods, but she never showed up.
Debord said Adams was passionate about everything she did and hopes the memory of her will never fade.
"I would hope that we would continue talking about her and making people aware of what a wonderful person she was, and just continuing to do things that she would have done. I try in my classroom to think of things that she would have done, things that would make her proud,” Debord said.
Debord said South Charleston Middle School will continue to hold the memorial walk in honor of Adams every spring.
Adams was one of the 23 people who were killed in the flood statewide.
Here are all of those who lost their lives in the flood:
Emanuel Javon Williams, 8, Ohio County
Billy Eugene Sanders Sr., 62, Kanawha County
Natasha Danielle LeMaster, 20, Kanawha County
Melissa “Lesa” Renee Hess, 46, Kanawha County
Eduardo Thomas McMillion, 4, Jackson County
Denver Leslie Barker, 93, Greenbrier County
I. Edward “Budgie” Thompson, 85, Greenbrier County
Gary Keith Shumaker, 82, Greenbrier County
Charles Omechinski II, 63, Greenbrier County
Okey Williams Moffatt Jr., 74, Kanawha County
Joni Melinda Adams, 60, Kanawha County
Sandra Lee Boswell, 57, Kanawha County
Nellie Virginia Hinkle, 80, Greenbrier County
Delmas Parsons, 70, Greenbrier County
Dakota Scott Stone, 16, Greenbrier County
Raymond Edward Clark Jr., 60, Greenbrier County
Melissa Dale Deichert, 60, Greenbrier County
Hershel Lee Nicely, 68, Greenbrier County
Marguerite Parsons, 67, Greenbrier County
Belinda Gail Scott, 54, Greenbrier County
Lisa Gaye Goins Blankenship, 44, Greenbrier County
Nataysha Nicely, 32, Greenbrier County
Mykala Cheyenne Phillips, 14, Greenbrier County