In June, Boys Home of Virginia was hit by two strong storms, both leaving damage in their path. On June 16, in Alleghany County, a heavy, intense wind storm swept through the area leaving trees and branches down, damage to houses and buildings, and thousands without power. A week later, on June 23, Boys Home was in the path of a storm that brought heavy downpours and flooding waters to the area. Boys Home, fortunately, had no damage to buildings during the wind storm and was not among the hardest hit areas during the flooding. However, we have sustained damage to several parts of the campus that will require extensive repairs.
- One of the lower barns was flooded where equine supplies and hay were stored. On top of the flooding, the sewage system overflowed and poured into the barn for about 16 hours. The barn now needs to be cleaned and sanitized, and many of the supplies have been rendered unusable because of contamination.
- We lost all of the hay from the first cut of the season. The damage to a second field has not yet been assessed, however we will likely have to buy replacement hay to get the horses through the winter season.
- The waterline of the creek running through campus has changed and rocks were distributed throughout the lower pasture and area leading to the creek. The pasture is no longer usable for the horses and clean-up of the rocks will be costly and time consuming.
- The Administration Building and most of the cottages had flooding in the basements due to the volume of rain and runoff. Carpet will need to be replaced in one cottage, but the rest of the buildings fared well and the water was cleaned up quickly.
- The memorial rose garden and memorial plaques were severely damaged in the wind storm the week before as a huge oak tree fell into the garden. We will need to replant the roses and repair or replace the plaques.
INITIAL CLEAN UP EFFORTS
Despite our losses, we were extremely fortunate as the wind damage and flooding could have been much worse for us. God’s hand of protection was over the staff and boys and the Boys Home community pulled together to clean up the aftermath of the storms that hit us. We had MissionWorks teams planning to be here the weeks following both storms who arrived ready to work and help with clean-up efforts. St. John’s Episcopal Church and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, both of Lynchburg, arrived the week after the wind storm and cleaned up several fallen trees during their time with us. Trinity Episcopal Church of Portsmouth, VA arrived several days after the flood and worked to move ALL of the molding hay out of the barn in their short time here.
ADDITIONAL HELP STILL NEEDED
We are so grateful for the outpouring of support, help, and inquiries as to how you can help that we’ve received over the last few weeks. Again, our losses aren’t big and some are still unknown at this time, but as we discover things to be replaced, we will update our list of needs.
Right now, monetary donations and donations of cleaning supplies are the best way to help. If you would like to help the more devastated areas surrounding Boys Home, you can contact The Diocese of West Virginia at 304-344-3597, or the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce Office at 540-962-2178. Callaghan efforts are being coordinated through FEMA and the Red Cross. Boys Home staff and residents are assisting when possible.
LONG TERM DISASTER PLANNING
Looking forward, Boys Home will have to make some changes in the future due to these recent storms. The lower barn has flooded 5 or 6 times during Donnie Wheatley’s time here at Boys Home. With the sewer overflow, it is probably time to move the barn to higher ground. A site will be selected, plans drawn up, and an old fashion barn raising will be scheduled in the future. We will have more details to come and we hope many of our friends will come and enjoy the special time on campus.