Lt. Governor Sears decided to visit the Buchanan County town and its people to offer support following the flood that devastated the area and had Youngkin call for a state of emergency.
Earlier this month, a torrential downpour that led to flooding inundated a rural Virginia county, tearing homes from their foundations and damaging roads and bridges. While everyone has been accounted for and there were no deaths, the flooding has devastated the area. According to WCYB, Twin Valley High School in Buchanan County has been serving as a resource center for residents impacted by devastating floods. It was also a stopping point for state leaders to see the damage firsthand.
Lieutenant Gov. Winsome Sears joined State Sen. Travis Hackworth Monday afternoon to view the recent impact from flooding. In an open discussion with people who live in the Bandy area of Tazewell County, Sears heard about a range of issues including flood insurance and FEMA funding along with basic day-to-day necessities.
“There is a lot of devastation,” said Sears. “In fact, we saw the bridges that were taken out, the homes that were moved off their foundations.”
They also had a chance to meet with residents affected, and hear from those giving a helping hand.
“It’s what we are here for, we are here to help, we are here to serve people and serve the less fortunate,” said Raymond Webb, a volunteer.
Both Sears and Hackworth were amazed to see the amount of donations and items being distributed at Twin Valley High School.
“This is what we need,” added Sears. “We can be political all we want, but here, disaster brings you back to where we are all humans, and we need each other’s help — neighbor has to take care of neighbor.”
Saying they know those impacted have a tough road ahead, but believe they will come out of this stronger.
“Pray it never happens again,” said Hackworth. “Of course, we do need to prepare for the worst, so I would like to introduce legislation, talk to the governor and we could create a fund that would be a ‘rapid response’ to be able to help with the displacement.”
Following the flood, just over forty people were reported missing, however, in the days since, authorities said that every person who was reported to be missing has been accounted for.