Clendenin family who lost home in 2016 flood receives new home
CLENDENIN, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) —
A family who lost everything in the June 2016 flood finally has a place to call home.
After being rescued from the roof of their Clendenin home and spending two years living in a small camper, one family not only has a new home, but a new sense of security each time a storm hits.
Each rain drop is a reminder of the home Joretta Gray bought with her husband in 2016.
"My exact words to Steve, ‘Steve this just feels like home we have to buy it’,” Joretta Gray said. “But the rain and the Lord had different plans."
Just four months later, on the morning of June 23, Joretta’s family of seven was rescued from the roof of their home as floodwater destroyed the inside.
"The whole situation was just devastating at first, she walked me through her home and I got to meet her son and her grand kids and she starts telling me her story,” West Virginia VOAD case manager Michael Austin said.
While living in a camper, the process of rebuilding faced a few setbacks.
To get the new home out of the flood plain it had to be pushed back about 30 feet and raised another 10 feet.
On Wednesday, two years and nearly four months after the devastating flood, the rain brought a new beginning.
"I got a whole lot more yard to mow, but I'm glad we're back here. It just feels like home, just like the other house did the day we went in to look at it to buy it,” Gray said.
Surrounding her family and friends to dedicate the home were people who made Gray’s hope a reality.
"They were flying in from everywhere across the country, and it was just like why me? Everybody that we have been associated with in this has been a blessing,” Gray said.
West Virginia VOAD, Neighbors Loving Neighbors and Mennonite Disaster Services were all part of the rebuilding Gray’s home.