Two years later: Clendenin family rebuilds after 2016 flood ravages home
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) —
Saturday marks two years since devastating floods hit West Virginia, destroying homes and lives. In Kanawha County, Clendenin was one of the areas hit the hardest by the 2016 flood, the rebuilding continues there today.
The Tanners are just one of the hundreds of families displaced by the flood in and around the town of Clendenin. They remember June 23, 2016 like it was yesterday.
"That morning, it started raining,” said Zac Tanner. “We tried to save as much as we could. The water just got so high, we just climbed up the hill in the back of our house."
"I was out work, and my husband called and said our house was starting to flood,” said Jennifer Tanner.
Memories washed away in just minutes, but as quickly as those floodwaters came, an outpouring of community support also surfaced.
“Churches, strangers, people we didn't know…it's taken awhile, but I'm grateful for the help we’ve had,” said Jennifer.
Good Samaritans helped the Tanners to salvage their house and move it to a new property. It's been a long process, but they’re making it feel like home.
As for the rest of Clendenin?
"Rebuilding the schools, I think, is what will be really important,” said Jennifer. “We had our vacation bible school at church this week, and a lot of kids talked about being scared last night when it was raining very hard."
The Tanners said it's their faith that gets them through and focusing on the positives instead of the negative.
"You go into Giovanni's, and sometimes you wait a little while, but you think I'm very grateful for this business. You're happy when you get in a little bit of traffic and you have to wait a little while because you know there's people coming back,” said Jennifer.
The Tanners are hoping to move into their new home by the start of the school year.