Memorial, parks honor victims of 2016 West Virginia floods

Memorial, parks honor victims of 2016 West Virginia floods

June 18th, 2017 by Associated Press in National Tennessee

FILE - In this Saturday, June 25, 2016 file photo, Lt. Dennis Feazell, of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, watches for debris as he and a co-worker search flooded homes in Rainelle, W. Va. The town of Rainelle, population 1,500, lost five residents and dozens of homes in the June 23, 2016 floods. The Christian ministry Appalachia Service Project is building at least 50 homes and fixing others, while another group is removing sediment from Rainelle’s flood-control channels. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) - Rain falling like it would never end has changed the meaning of summer in this tiny corner of Appalachia.

When the downpour finally subsided in White Sulphur Springs on June 23, 2016, five lives had been lost along one road alone - Mill Hill Drive. And 23 people were dead statewide in West Virginia's worst flooding since 1985.

As floodwaters receded, a muddy landscape of ruined homes and businesses, wiped-out roads and devastated lives emerged in hard-hit Greenbrier County. Then there followed an army of volunteers, donors and government workers, rallying to help.

On the anniversary of those rains, a memorial wall, museum and a series of parks linked by sidewalks around Mill Hill Drive will be dedicated Friday for victims and the community. It's a place where nearly a dozen businesses have re-opened, and few here are untouched by tragedy.