The summer is typically a time spent enjoying warm weather, long afternoons swimming in the neighborhood pool and traveling across the nation’s interstates to enjoy our time off with friends and loved ones. Unfortunately instead of enjoying the carefree atmosphere that the summer months typically affords us, many people in the state of West Virginia will be spending their summer rebuilding their communities and lives. Towards the end of June, West Virginia experienced torrential flooding that left parts of the state totally devastated.
According to NPR more than 20 people in West Virginia lost their lives as a result of the massive flash floods. Many the West Virginians that did manage to live through this tragic ordeal will have to deal with homes that have either been damaged or completely washed away. NPR also reported that 1200 homes were damaged or completed wrecked by the flooding.
CNN reported that there were houses that were wrenched from their foundations by the flood. These houses were seen being carried away by the force of the floods’ currents. One West Virginia resident told CNN that the June floods were the most devastating floods he had witnessed over the nearly 40 years he has called West Virginia home. The level of damage created by the floods led President Obama to classify Greenbrier, Nicholas and Kanawha counties as disaster areas, according to NPR.
West Virginia is home to a number of companies that are part of the natural gas industry. The natural gas industry has long been a vital part of West Virginia’s local economies and communities. Arguably it has helped make the state what it is today. Given this it is no surprise that the industry came together to respond to the needs of people in West Virginia whose lives have been changed in profound ways by the storm.
According to the Red Cross members of the state’s natural gas community came together to pool their resources to make a joint donation to the non-profit’s West Virginia branch. Natural gas companies including but not limited to Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Stone Energy, Cunningham Energy (https://twitter.com/cunningham_eng), Mountaineer Gas Company, Columbia Pipeline Group, Apex Pipeline Services, Jackson Gas Company and Dominion Resources joined forces to make a donation of $350,000 to the West Virginia Red Cross.
The coalition’s $350,000 donation will reportedly be used to contribute to “flood recovery” and “disaster assistance” operations in the state. Robert Orndorff, a spokesperson for Dominion Resources, noted that the natural gas industry was participating in the West Virginian tradition of helping one’s neighbor in times of need by making their donation.