Nina, a cat, sits inside a pet crate after being rescued from flash flooding outside a home in Rainelle, W.Va.
Steep mountains, narrow valleys and a deadly train of storms came together in West Virginia to cause horrendous flooding that killed 23 people last week, forced thousands to evacuate and destroyed or damaged thousands of homes and businesses.
Disaster Areas have been declared for 44 or the 55 counties in the state. FEMA and the National Guard have been called in and once again we see pictures of homes with the dread markings of house-to-house searches for the missing people and pets.
Photo: Volunteer Kelsi Shawver hands a cupcake to a young girl at a food line set up for flood victims, emergency responders and other volunteers June 27, 2016, in Rainelle, W.Va. John Raby, AP
GET INSPIRED: Interfaith collaboration and coordination have come together as clergy and congregations from all faiths are working together on disaster relief. Yet again, the UU Congregation in Charleston, West Virginia is on call to deal with water issues. The UUC building has been mobilized as an emergency center to receive and distribute necessities (e.g., bottled water, food, diapers, etc.) UU ministers in WV Rev. Rose Edington, Rev. Mel Hoover, Rev. Tricia Hart and Rev. Peter Newport have joined with ministers throughout the state doing pastoral and emergency care.
TAKE ACTION: You can help by sending donations directly through
or mail to the UUC Clean Water Fund
520 Kanawha Boulevard West
Charleston WV 25302
For further information about events in the area, go to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charleston WV facebook page.
Jimmy Scott gets a hug from Anna May Watson, left, as they clean up from severe flooding in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., June 24, 2016. Scott lost his home to the flood and a fire that consumed his and the homes of several relatives. Steve Helber, AP
GET EDUCATED: The vicious line of storms dumped "one-in-1,000-year" amounts on the state last week. Some spots picked up more than a foot of rain in only a few hours. That amount of rain in such a short amount of time is something expected once in 1,000 years, said weather service meteorologist Dave Wert of the Blacksburg, Va., office.
But few commentators have bothered to mention that West Virginia and the surrounding region of the country have seen a 71% increase in precipitation since 1958, because a warmer atmosphere also holds more moisture. For more, check out http://www.globalchange.gov, a federal research project with the mission: Thirteen Agencies, One Vision: Empower the Nation with Global Change Science.
Thank you for your support of our neighbors in West Virginia.
Chair, Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth