Ohio County Community Pulls Together After Flooding

Apr 22, 2024 | News

When Ohio County students returned from spring break this month, they were met with downpours that resulted in hazardous road conditions and flooding on April 2-4. Ultimately, the Ohio River crested at nearly 42 feet. Wheeling Island was nearly submerged. Schools were canceled and many people were stranded at home.  Over 25% of the student body was displaced, staying in hotels or with family/friends during the flooding. Most of the students live on Wheeling Island, so the school system jump into action. They collected donations and organized volunteers to help families and students. The community pulled together to support the schools and families affected.

Ohio County Schools families and staff were phenomenal helpers. Families were flexible, kind, and understanding. Staff ensured every student was accounted for, fed, and calm. Staff stayed late to allow for additional flexibility for families. Director of Operations at Ohio County Schools, Mr. Crumm, worked countless hours in multiple buildings to ensure everything was as safe as it could possibly be. Dozens of custodians, maintenance workers, and bus drivers joined him. Dr. Kimberly Miller, Superintendent and Mr. Rick Jones, Assistant Superintendent, spent much of their week at Madison Elementary School helping move materials to higher ground. Nearly 100 administrators, teachers, support staff, and students of all ages joined in this effort as well. Local businesses offered support in a variety of ways.

When the waters began receding, many in the community needed cleaning supplies, food, and clothing. School counselors went into immediate action, organizing efforts to gather supplies and ensure community access, often working together to arrange drop off locations. When supplies ran out, the counselors worked rapidly to secure more. At one point, when cars were too full to transfer more materials, a Triadelphia Middle School teacher simply said, “I’ll meet you there in ten minutes.” This was preceded by central office employees Mrs. Minch and Ms. Senkbeil dropping off an entire van load of materials for families. Community members visited all day delivering even more supplies with one community member making a large monetary donation to provide to “any family in need.” It was a common sight to see teachers and administrators (and their children) following families in need to their cars to help lighten the load affected families had to carry.

It is heartwarming how the community came together to support one another during the flood.