ROCKINGHAM — A Richmond County church is making efforts to reach out to the victims recent flooding in West Virginia.
New Vision Freewill Baptist Church is collecting supplies to be taken to Sunday Road Baptist Church in Hico, West Virginia, according to Pastor Tommy Peacock.
“This town and the surrounding community have been devastated by the flood,” Peacock said in announcement to church members. “The community’s power lines and over 100 bridges have been washed away.”
Peacock said that many residents are trapped in their mountain homes because the gravel roads have also been washed away.
“The loss of homes is great,” he said.
The Associated Press reports that thousands of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed across the state when nine inches of rain fell in a short period of time last week, causing what could be the worst flooding in three decades.
At least 23 people were killed during the floods statewide.
Hico is located in Fayette County, which was among seven added to a request for a federal disaster declaration by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin Tuesday morning. The three hardest-hit counties have already received approval for a federal declaration, which allows residents to apply for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
FEMA has set up disaster centers in two of the worst counties, free tetanus shots were administered Tuesday to residents exposed to flood waters and Proctor and Gamble is providing laundry services.
Peacock said Sunday Road Baptist Church, and other churches in the area, are putting up those who have lost their homes, can’t get to their homes or whose homes are unlivable.
In the announcement, Peacock mentions Hico residents Bill and Gloria Bean, who have sang and played piano at the church when visiting Hamlet.
Through them, he said, he was able to contact the church secretary to find out what they need most, which include: flashlights, candles, mops, cleaning supplies, rubber gloves, dust masks, batteries, buckets, bleach, insect repellent, shovels and small propane tanks.
“These are specific items needed,” he said. “Water and food have been well taken care of. They need to just get by without power and are camping out. Many of the roads and bridges will take a very long time to repair.”
Cash or check donations will be used to purchase supplies in Richmond County — so as not deplete the resources in the flood-ravaged area — and will be delivered to West Virginia, Peacock said. Gift cards are also acceptable, he added.
Anyone wishing to donate can contact Peacock at 910-995-2848 or Pastor Calvin Bean at 910-331-1858.
The Associated Press contributed to this story. Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_toler.