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Denver donates heavy equipment to aid in Richwood’s flood rebuilding effort

A dump truck and a small skid steer loader donated by the City of Denver to the flood-battered Nicholas County town of Richwood completed the last leg of a 1,500-mile road trip on Monday, and soon will be put to use continuing clean-up and rebuilding work that remains to be done following record rainfall late last June.

“We’ve come a long way, but there’s a phenomenal amount of work still to be done,” said Richwood Mayor Bob Henry Baber, who met the two-vehicle convoy hauling the heavy equipment from Colorado to West Virginia at Interstate 79’s Elkview interchange on Monday. “It’s great that a big-city mayor was willing to step up to reach out and help us. But this is one of many acts of kindness and generosity that have happened since the flood to help put us on our way to becoming the state’s comeback town.”

Following an immediate response to the flood by state, federal and nonprofit disaster assistance agencies, volunteer groups from across the nation spent a week each doing home repair work during a 10-week effort organized by Richwood Rebuilds, while Neighbors Loving Neighbors, founded by Gov.-elect Jim Justice, helped rebuild Richwood High School gym. The town received donated shipments of lumber, beds and bedding, HVAC equipment and other rebuilding supplies and is targeted to receive some of the portable tiny homes being built by students at the state’s vocational and technical schools.

Denver’s used heavy equipment donation, valued at about $50,000, came about after Baber attended a Kellogg Fellowship Leadership Alliance conference in Denver three months after his town was flooded. Baber was named a W.K. Kellogg Leadership Fellow in the 1990s, after overseeing Concord University’s Bonner Scholars program for several years. Among the conference speakers was Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who Baber approached after his talk to ask if his city had any heavy equipment to spare to help Richwood recover from the flood.

As it turned out, the Colorado city did have some spare gear on its hands, and offered it to the West Virginia city for a nominal fee. “The Kellogg organization helped fund transportation costs for getting the equipment from Denver to Richwood”, Baber said.

While Richwood received millions of dollars in damage from the flood, it also is getting its decrepit sewer system and several streets and roads replaced, through a federal funding program.

“We will get a new sewer system and new roads to help get us moving forward again,” Baber said. “While we started out as the underdog, I think we are going to come back and come back stronger than ever.”

This article was written on January 9, 2017, by Charleston Gazette-Mail staff writer Rick Steelhammer, and is reprinted by permission of the Charleston Gazette-Mail. You can reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelhammer@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5169 or follow @rsteelhammer on twitter.

 

 

Preparing for Temporary Schools…

RICHWOOD — Land made available for public use by the owner of Richwood’s Watergate Inn, following talks with Richwood Mayor Bob Henry Baber, could help ensure that Richwood’s middle school students remain in town until a new school is built, rather than be relocated to a site outside the community.450px-richwood-watergate-rebuild

Land already has been cleared for the lot, and a liner and crushed rocks were being put in place on Thursday, September 22, 2016, following an agreement with Andreas Karas, owner of the long-shuttered inn, damaged by floods in June and in years past, and scheduled for eventual demolition, Baber said. Work is being done by United Coal Co., which has donated at least $50,000 in labor, according to the mayor.

Richwood Middle School and Richwood High School were deemed unfit for use by Federal Emergency Management Administration officials after the buildings were battered and deluged by floodwaters that swept through the Nicholas County town in late June. Richwood High School students temporarily have relocated to the former Beaver Elementary School near Craigsville, while the middle school students have been sharing space with students at Richwood’s Cherry River Elementary School, which was not damaged in the flooding.

By developing a second parking lot at the lower end of the school, the existing parking lot, which lies above the floodplain, can be used to locate temporary pods for additional teaching space to reduce crowding within the middle school building. The added parking area also would eliminate concerns about a shortage of parking space, now that teachers and staff from two schools are sharing the existing lot, and include a loop road for buses to access the school.

During the last Nicholas County School Board meeting, Superintendent Donna Burge-Tetrick said the lack of adequate parking at Cherry River Elementary could result in Richwood Middle School being relocated in modular classrooms at Craigsville, according to the Nicholas Chronicle.

So far, FEMA has turned down proposals to build a new Richwood High School on the grounds of the former Richwood Area Community Hospital, and vetoed a pair of other prospective sites.

Last week, the Legislature approved an $85 million appropriation for matching funds to capture FEMA flood recovery grants totaling an estimated $339 million. Of that sum, flood-ruined Richwood High School, Richwood Middle School, Summersville Middle School, Clendenin Elementary School and Herbert Hoover High School would be allocated a total of about $130 million to rebuild.

In other flood recovery developments, Baber said the town’s Rite-Aid and Dollar General stores should reopen by the end of next month, and that all of the town’s flood-damaged sewer mains that once ran along the bottom of the Cherry River, have been patched and temporarily relocated under shore rocks along a bank of the stream. The repairs dramatically decreased the flow of river water entering the pipes and needlessly passing through the town’s treatment plant, making it more difficult to process sewage.

The town still lacks a supermarket, and the town’s emergency pantry is nearly empty, Baber said.

This article is reprinted by permission of the Charleston Gazette-Mail and

Christmas Photos

Merry Christmas!  The City of Richwood and its employees want to extend their warmest and sincerest greetings to all residents of the city.  As a special treat, below you will find a link to the WVU Photo Corps’ Photo Galleries. This link will take you to a group of pictures taken by members of the Photo Corps that visited Richwood and took pictures both on Halloween and when Santa recently visited the Richwood Library.  Please understand that the pictures in the Photo Gallery are for the private use of those in the picture(s).  Persons not in the picture(s) are to not copy or share these pictures without the permission of the photographer and the families.

-Mayor Bob Henry Baber and Santa- This Year a long forgotten tradition was revived by placing a large donated Christmas tree decorated by Richwood Cherry River Elementary and Middle School students on Main Street in the Federally designated Historic District

http://www.wvphotocorps.com/Public-WVportraits-Galleries

The entire Photo Gallery is interesting because it has pictures of several communities in central and southern West Virginia.  The photography is superb.  Enjoy!

You can also visit the WVU Photo Corps Facebook page to get an idea of the people involved in this project.  They truly are a unique and energetic group of WVU students.

https://www.facebook.com/WVPhotoCorps/

ABC News features Richwood Lumberjacks

ABC News Feature about Richwood High School Band

Below, is a video of a recent ABC News Feature about Richwood and the Richwood High School Lumberjack Marching Band.


ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Pictures of the Cherry River Festival

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The 140 member Richwood Strong Lumberjack Express marches up Main Street, Richwood, WV, in their uniforms that were under water only six weeks ago. These pictures of the Richwood Lumberjack band, the other participants and the crowd prove, as Mayor Baber so aptly states…“Richwood, the town that wouldn’t die….
Also, in the menu to your left (or at the bottom of your page if you are using a mobile device) you will find our Recent Posts, where we provide the latest information about “Rebuild Richwood”. Please read!

ABC News features Richwood Lumberjacks

ABC News Feature about Richwood High School Band

Below, is a video of a recent ABC News Feature about Richwood and the Richwood High School Lumberjack Marching Band.


ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Pictures of the Cherry River Festival

Arrow
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PlayPause
Slider

 

The 140 member Richwood Strong Lumberjack Express marches up Main Street, Richwood, WV, in their uniforms that were under water only six weeks ago. These pictures of the Richwood Lumberjack band, the other participants and the crowd prove, as Mayor Baber so aptly states…“Richwood, the town that wouldn’t die….
Also, in the menu to your left (or at the bottom of your page if you are using a mobile device) you will find our Recent Posts, where we provide the latest information about “Rebuild Richwood”. Please read!

ABC News features Richwood Lumberjacks

ABC News Feature about Richwood High School Band

Below, is a video of a recent ABC News Feature about Richwood and the Richwood High School Lumberjack Marching Band.


ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Pictures of the Cherry River Festival

Arrow
Arrow
PlayPause
Slider

 

The 140 member Richwood Strong Lumberjack Express marches up Main Street, Richwood, WV, in their uniforms that were under water only six weeks ago. These pictures of the Richwood Lumberjack band, the other participants and the crowd prove, as Mayor Baber so aptly states…“Richwood, the town that wouldn’t die….
Also, in the menu to your left (or at the bottom of your page if you are using a mobile device) you will find our Recent Posts, where we provide the latest information about “Rebuild Richwood”. Please read!

Gift to the City of Richwood

pic-shepherdstown-gift-to-richwood

Pictured left are Rita Demario, Richwood Director of Volunteer Services, Richwood Mayor Bob Henry Baber and Jim Auxer, Mayor of Shepherdstown.

Recently, Shepherdstown Mayor Jim Auxer presented a check for $4,000 to the mayor of Richwood, a town that Shepherdstown adopted to aid with flood relief. In addition, the Corporation of Shepherdstown gave a used pick up truck, and Street Fest partnered with Shepherdstown to give another $1,500.

Lunch and Dinner are Served….

A volunteer group organized by Paul Brickley will be serving lunch and dinner Friday and Saturday at the Richwood City Hall parking lot.  They will have enough food to feed 150 families.

City Hall and Water Department

City Hall, showing entrance to Water Department

Please come and enjoy!

Please contact Rita DeMario at the Richwood Armory (304-846-2271) if you have any questions.

 

 

Pictures of the June 2016 Flood

Pictures of the June 2016, Flood

Picture of flood damage in Richwood, WV
Picture of Flood Damage in Richwood, WV
Picture of Flood Damage
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Above, you will see images of the damage caused by the June 23-26, 2016 flood. Richwood citizens are resilient. These pictures show the damage but also the cleanup that is now underway. Richwood will be a stronger and more vibrant community as a result. More pictures are coming in daily. These pictures can be found in the Photo Gallery listed in the menu on the left-side of this page (or near the bottom of the page if you are using a cell phone or other mobile device). Also, in the menu you will find our Recent Posts, where we provide the latest information about “Rebuild Richwood”. Please read!

Channel 13 News Video regarding Rebuild Richwood, below.

WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Lunch served at City Hall on Saturday!

Picture of Richwood City Hall

Richwood City Hall

Tomorrow, Saturday, August 13, 2016, lunch will be served at City Hall from noon to 2:00pm.  This lunch is provided by the Disaster Relief Organization.  Please attend.  It is a great way to catch up on the “Rebuild Richwood” effort.