West Virginia volunteer groups build bridge for Clay County flood victim

For more than a year and a half Clay County flood victim Clinton Nichols was without a bridge to get to his home. He spent many nights trying to cross makeshift surfaces to get to his house. (WCHS/WVAH)

For more than a year and a half Clinton Nichols struggled with day to day errands at his Clay County home. Things like unloading his car or going grocery shopping were near impossible without a bridge to stretch across the creek to his house.

Nichol's bridge was washed away in the 2016 flood. He tried to do most of his renovations himself around his property. He tried to build the bridge back, and broke his hip. Nichols spent weeks in the hospital.

"Many people were completely devastated," Nichols said. "We couldn't get across this creek. Thankfully our neighbors tried to let us cross the creek where they live."

When West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster caught word of his story, they jumped in to help.

"The fact that someone would just come and help you like that is unbelievable," Nichols said.

Volunteers from Mennonite Disaster Services came to help build the bridge that now makes life easier. The bridge was also funded by United Way of Central West Virginia and the Stump Church in Tesla.

"This work is very rewarding," Executive Director of VOAD Jenny Gannaway said. "We were able to give him safe access to his home. It is rewarding especially when you see that family. Many of them have tears in their eyes. They are telling you how appreciative they are."

In just a week, volunteers worked to finish the bridge. This was their 39th bridge project for flood victims across our area.

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