The Thousand Year Flood

Photo by Sarah Patton
I’m sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee, looking at pictures of our neighboring flood-ravaged communities in southern West Virginia on Facebook. I must admit, it’s hard not to feel guilty as I’m feeling thankful for escaping the destruction so many others are experiencing all around me. And, at the same time, I have never felt a deeper sense of pride in claiming this state as my home.

Our entire community has sprung into action, loading vehicles with supplies for our fellow West Virginians. Businesses and individuals, as well as organizations like The Red Cross and The United Way are identifying needs and rallying to meet them. There is such a strong camaraderie and humanitarian spirit here in West Virginia.

Many people have lost their homes, their vehicles. Worse than that, some have lost loved ones. I have not been able to stop thinking about the man I saw on the news last night, whose dear wife is lying in a hospital with burns over 70% of her body. People have been injured, stranded. Many possessions have literally floated down the river.

Public Photo from The Greenbrier's Facebook Page

Our beloved Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs – where The Greenbrier Classic Golf Tournament takes place every July – has suffered extensive damage from what they are calling this “Thousand Year Flood.” 

When John and I moved to West Virginia to open John Howerton Honda of Beckley, we believed there was a greater purpose in our being relocated here apart from simply owning a car dealership. We wanted to participate in the community and make a positive difference in whatever ways we could. We’ve always appreciated how warmly we’ve been embraced by the people of West Virginia and we appreciate all of our loyal customers.

John Howerton and Bill Brooks
Filling Ridgelines with supplies for flood victims is just a small act of kindness where an immediate need is present. But I’m sure we will all have more opportunities to lend a helping hand to our neighbors in the coming days. And I know we will.

Our “Wild and Wonderful” state has suffered from the war on coal. This “Thousand Year Flood” presents another hurdle to overcome. And there are others. But West Virginia is full of people with big and caring hearts. 

We’ll push through our challenges as a team. 
And we’ll be rooting for each other all the way.

Public Photo from The Greenbrier's Facebook Page