Boos & Applause

Applause to our local first responders who provided so much necessary aid to people affected by this week’s flooding, and to the army of volunteers who offered help in the recovery efforts. Storms ravaged the town of Harman Sunday morning, closing roads and washing out bridges. Battling to keep people safe were local fire departments, EMS, police departments and the West Virginia Department of Highways. These workers came to the aid of victims caught with nowhere to go and no roads by which to escape. Many rural roads throughout our coverage area suffered massive destruction as creeks and rivers rushed to overflow their banks Sunday. Our emergency crews are to be congratulated and commended for their efforts to restore services and hope to all those who were affected.

Applause also to everyone who helped with the cleanup at Harman School, which was flooded Sunday morning. Hours of work in cleaning up the mess were put in by Randolph County school system employees, local volunteers and, later in the week, members of the West Virginia Army National Guard. Officials determined the interior of the school was not seriously damaged, and efforts to repair and replace the damaged playground equipment are underway.

Applause to our local veterans’ organizations for their support, dedication and remembrance of our fallen servicemen. Two memorial bridge dedication ceremonies took place in Randolph County within the past week. What was formerly known as the Spillway Bridge was renamed and dedicated in honor of Staff Sgt. Thomas Gavin Hess, who was killed in action on May 3, 1970, during the Vietnam War. What was known as the Glenmore Bridge was renamed and dedicated in honor of Private First Class Homer Jacob Day, who was killed on July 4, 1944, during WWII. We are blessed to have the H.W. Daniels Post 29 American Legion, VFW Post 3647 and other veterans’ organizations that spend countless hours in our communities paying tribute to our loved ones, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Applause to the West Virginia Rail Road Museum organizers for keeping the history of our region alive. Rail Road Museum volunteers have spent countless hours creating, remodeling, cleaning and restoring artifacts so others can enjoy the rich history our state has to offer. These volunteers will be selling raffle tickets in downtown Elkins over this holiday weekend to raise funding to enable the restoration of a 1946 Cadillac Rail Car. Residents and historians have been looking forward to seeing this vintage classic restored to its former glory and the Museum organizers are one step closer to seeing it rebuilt.

Boo to the blasts of severe weather our region of the state has been receiving. Sunday’s flooding came without much notice, dumping as much as 5 inches of rain in an hour in some areas. That kind of weather event is too extreme for any community to handle. We are fortunate that we have many caring professionals, neighbors and volunteers who rise to the occasion when sudden devastation hits