Flood of 1985

Moorefield Examiner
November 13, 1985

Flood of 1985...Flood Disaster Recovery Report

Federal Aid

As Moorefield begins digging out from the Flood of '85, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is due to arrive. County Disaster Committee officials reported that FEMA should be in Moorefield on Wednesday. The federal agency will be located in the basement of the new Court House Annex.

FEMA personnel will survey the area before even considering claims. Depending on the economic circumstances of an individual or company, it is possible that low to reasonably low interest loans will be available for reconstruction, repair, or rebuilding. In some instances, there will be outright grants available.

Information about FEMA will be published in the Examiner and broadcast over WELD as soon as available.

Representatives from the State Fire Marshall's office began checking out damage to buildings on Monday. As of Monday evening 46 structures had been condemned which would be razed by the Corps of Engineers.

Ed Robinson with the Fire Marshall's Office stated that is there was anything in the condemned buildings that was useable it should be removed.

Gary Stalnaker reminded citizens that records of property damage should be maintained. Any repairs made to buildings and property before FEMA inspectors have seen it should be photographed before and after.


Rockingham Poultry Marketing Cooperative was back in production Monday night. Doug Hester, spokesman, said that the plant would try to process 100,000 birds per day, providing equipment worked, and the water and personnel were available.

Catchers were dispersed Monday evening and returned with birds for a late night shift to begin work.

The normal production is 130,000 per day.

Rockingham reported that as of Monday 160,000 birds had been lost by their growers or breeders. The problems of getting feed and fuel to poultry houses has lessened and the Company is confident that production will be improving.

Hester Industries

C. Elwood Williams, Vice President of Hester Industries, continues to report that the precooked chicken plant will be back n production on November 18.


Deputy Sheriff Gary Stalnaker asks that people who are concerned about rumors please get in touch with the Disaster Center Office at 538-6142. He said rumors were causing undue concerns for many flood victims.

Do not listen to rumors and worry unnecessarily. Check with WELD or the Moorefield Examiner for regular reports from the Disaster Committee. Questions still unanswered should be taken to the Disaster Committee in the Town Office.


Chief of Security Frank Vetter reported that curfew would remain in effect until further notice. The curfew is from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. Anyone on the streets after curfew must have appropriate identification or authorized tag.

Vetter also asked that stores and businesses observe the curfew hours.

Emergency Supplies

Food, clothing and cleaning supplies are available to any person or business suffering damage from the flood. Greg Zirk announced that the clothing distribution would be moved from the Episcopal Church to the old M. A. Bean Oil Company building on Railroad Street by Thursday.

Food distribution will also be moved to that location by the end of the week, but will continue at the Presbyterian Church until then.


Rev. Andrew Agnew has reminded flood victims that Volunteer work crews are in the area to help. These crews are available to anyone suffering any type of flood damage. Help is on hand for cleaning out homes or property. Victims of the flood need only ask.

Agnew said that people in the outlying areas must not hesitate to ask for assistance. Call 538-2024.


Superintendent of Schools John V. Miller, Jr., said that the clean-up of Moorefield Elementary and Moorefield High School was progressing rapidly. Electrical and mechanical problems still plague the area.

Students at Mathias, Wardensville and East Hardy went back to school on November 12. No date has been set for a return to classes for Moorefield students.


The nursery at the Catholic Church will continue through this week from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Sharon Eye, who is coordinating the nursery, says that the nursery will not be open on Sunday and probably will run next week.

Trash Removal

The WV National Guard has started a new trash collection program in Moorefield. Military dump trucks participating in the program will have a card with a large letter "T" in the front window. These trucks will be parked about an hour before curfew in several locations in Moorefield.

Capt. Tim Curran, Co. B, 1092 ENBN, said the locations, coordinated with, and under surveil[l]ance of local law enforcement personnel, will be varied daily. Residents are encouraged to use the dump truck to dispose of furniture, clothing, papers, and other similar items.

County sanitary authorities warn that waste food and other garbage must not be put into the dump trucks or the program will be stopped.

Coroner's Report

County Coroner Tom Fraley reported that the body of Mrs. Virginia Watkins was recovered by search crews on Monday, November 11. This brings the death to four, three by drowning and one heart attack.

As of Monday Carlos Milam of Beckley was declared officially missing-presumed dead. This search continues on the South Fork for his body.

Fraley stated that all isolated homes on the South Fork had been visited by helicopter. He said that all were well and that "mountain folks were hard to beat!"

Search crews had tagged an excess of 60 dead animals.

Town Water

Mayor Larry Kuykendall announced that town water had been cleared for consumption late Monday. He warned residents that there might be a return of non-drinkable water and that citizens should stay on top of daily reports of the flood clean-up.


A housing referral center has been established through the Disaster Committee. Anyone needing housing should call Carmen Silliman at 538-2560.

Farmers' Hay

County Extension Agent Dave Workman reminds farmers if they have hay stored in barns which was soaked during the flood should be pulled apart. When hay gets wet and is not allowed to air the chemical reaction can cause spontaneous combustion. If hay is smoldering it should be pulled apart immediately so that it can dry.


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