Local Organizations Teaming Up To Build, Repair Bridges

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Flooding and high water destroys homes and bridges in West Virginia every year, which is why volunteers are coming together to help families build new bridges.

The Bridge Project that kicked off Wednesday will help West Virginians whose lives and properties are endangered by damaged or destroyed bridges.

In the end, it will assist families greatly, especially if there is ever an emergency.
Josh and Ruth Plumley have lived on Big Laurel Road in Branchland for 14 years and have been dealing with the problem for quite a while.

"When it rains, the creek gets up, we have no way out - it goes over top our bridge. We've gotten flooded out completely it went over our bridge," the Plumleys said.

Damaged bridges can cause an issue during an emergency and first responders are often delayed.

"We just don't go out until the water goes down and thank god no emergency came up that we had to go out," Plumley said.

The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and WV VOAD are coming together to build new bridges and repair existing ones at no cost to residents.

The Plumleys are the first on the list for a new bridge.

"It touches my heart to see that first bridge go in its going to let me know all of the hard work and long hours that every put in is worth it," WV VOAD state chair, Jenny Gannaway said.

"So far we are going to get a bridge and I thank God for that," the Plumleys said.

The group has enough funds to fix five bridges and is working to raise more money. Chuck Adkins is number six on the list and is hoping to get a new bridge.

"I appreciate that and appreciate those who want to help people. When I lost my bridge, I lost my way of getting my garbage walking across to get my mail," Adkins said.

"Hopefully with what we are dong next year then it floods we aren't going to have the same problems of bridges washing out and flooding homes," Gannaway said.

The bridges will be built to handle high water, and they want to fix many more bridges in the future.

People can adopt bridges in their communities or help in many other ways. Click here to find out more on how to help.

Donations can also be sent to WV VOAD Disaster Relief Fund at 815 Alderson Street, Williamson, WV 25661.

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