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Clendenin family prepares for potential storms on anniversary of devastating flood

With heavy rain expected this Friday, the one-year anniversary of the historic flooding that devastated our region, some are already preparing for potential flooding. (WCHS/WVAH)

With heavy rain expected Friday, the one-year anniversary of the historic flooding that devastated our region, some are already preparing for potential flooding.

This same week of June one year ago, Telisha Huffman had an empty nest. Two of her sons were away at their grandmother's, and the third was at Boy Scout camp.

"I had to explain to them over the phone that there was nothing to come home to. They came back home, and their home was gone," Huffman said.

It was destroyed inside by floodwaters.

This week, it's like deja vu. Her family is back in their home, getting ready to send her son off to Boy Scout camp again.

"He's really nervous about going this year because he's afraid it's going to happen again," Huffman said.

With heavy rain in the forecast for the upcoming anniversary of the flood, Huffman said she is constantly checking her weather app,

While the rain is not expected to be as severe as it was in that "thousand year flood" last year, emergency officials are prepared for the worst.

"Potential is here, you need to pay attention. If you wait until it's here, it's too late," Deputy Director of Kanawha County Emergency Management Mike Oakley said.

While crews are preparing emergency vehicles and boats and taking inventory of equipment, Oakley urges members of the public to prepare themselves at home.

"The national standard is you should have food and water and things of that nature for 72 hours, that way you're sustainable at your residence for 72 hours," Oakley said.

It's a habit members of the Huffman family have picked up since last June, with their individual emergency bags ready to go.

"When I hear the thunder, it's almost like chills go up your spine, every five minutes you're looking outside to see how bad it's raining," Huffman said.

Oakley said when the water begins to rise, the best thing you can do is get out.

"if you live in a flood-prone area and the water is coming up area your residence and coming up fast, you need to get out," Oakley said.

A few other things to keep in mind are if you are in a camper or vehicle, even in shallow water, do not stay in them or drive through high water.

If you live near a creek, make sure any grass clippings or yard debris are away from the creek. they could quickly form a dam, pushing even more water toward your home.


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