Residents of Rand, West Virginia face constant high water disasters
KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Monday’s unprecedented storm caused flooded roads, destroyed homes and lost memories. Everything the residents of the unincorporated community of Rand have said is not new, but for their community, it is preventable.
“We need help here, and we needed it yesterday,” Bryan Smith said.
Bryan Smith is the son of disabled U.S. Army veteran John Smith who has lived in Rand for more than five decades with his wife Barbara Smith.
John Smith said the flooding has gotten worse over the years.
“We would have flooding, but not to the point that every time a cloud passes you get flooded,” he said.
So what is the problem? John Smith says it started when a new sewage system was installed in the late seventies.
“After they set up a so-called sewage system to save us from ourselves, it just went crazy – flooding all the time in places where we never had water and everything there,” he said.
Rand residents said they had been trying to get help for years but had never seen results.
“We want to see digging machinery and heavy equipment, so we know they’re serious,” Rand resident Mack Reed said.
Every time it rains, Rand residents say the problem only gets worse.
“It’s been four blocks here at least a dozen times,” Bryan Smith said.
For John Smith, it all comes down to basic human dignity.
“I did everything by the numbers according to our society,” he said. “I finished high school. I served in the army. I worked for 39 years and got more than that and if it’s not me it’s definitely my family here so I’m just mad about that.
According to Sen. Glenn Jeffries (D-Putnam), he’s been helping solve the problem for about a year now. He said the first phase, which includes assessing the problem, is complete. Now they will move on to phase two, but he couldn’t specify what that entails.