On August 12, NRCS celebrated the first ARRA watershed operations buyout in West Virginia's Dunloup Creek Watershed. Chief Dave White and Congressman Nick Rahall heard from victims of persistent local flooding.
Through the buyout, people can leave specific, frequently-flooded areas of Fayette County to avoid problems from future floods. The Dunloup Watershed project is a rural area of around 280 homes and about 1,000 individuals. Steep mountains intensify floods and increase the destructive power of floodwaters. For more than 45 years citizens and officials from the area had been trying to find a solution to the flooding problems along the creek ARRA provided that solution. Joining the event was Kim Sears, the first buyout recipient. Sears and her child had been ordered by police to vacate their home just moments before the property became inundated by flood water.
Chief White stands next to a “straight pipe” exposed by recent flooding and severe streambank erosion. Straight pipes send waste water into streams, degrading water quality.
Chief White stands in front of a house that will soon be demolished under the Flood Plain Easement Program. The site will be restored to a natural flood plain condition.
A home in McDowell County, WV that will soon be demolished under the Flood Plain Easement Program. After demolition, the site will be restored to a natural flood plain.
A home and garage in McDowell County where recent storms tore apart a landowner’s streambank stabilization structures.
Chief White, West Virginia State Conservationist Kevin Wickey, and Area Engineer Loren Rice look at flood damage in McDowell County. Utilities were exposed when the streambank washed away.
Photos by Greg Stone, NRCS Assistant State Conservationist - Field Operations, South Area.