West Virginia Flood Benefit

WVFlood Benefitsnip

From Ruin to Recovery: a fundraiser to help West Virginians rebuild after the flood of June 23, 2016

Tuesday, August 30
7:00 to 8:30 PM
Pale Fire Brewing Company
The Ice House
217 S. Liberty St., Harrisonburg, VA

News about the West Virginia flood has left the papers and TV but the people whose homes and businesses were wrecked still need your help.  You can learn what they are facing and contribute at the “Ruin to Recovery” fundraiser at Pale Fire Brewing Company Tap Room on Tuesday, August 30, 7:00—8:30PM . The event is sponsored by the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV) and Pale Fire Brewing Company.

West Virginia was hit by a tremendous microburst* of rain (the kind of once in a 1000 year storm some are calling a “rain bomb”) back on June 23 when 7 inches of rain fell on parts of WV and nearby Virginia.  As water rushed down the hillsides it took boulders and trees with it, then it gathered in creeks and ran on to fill streams and rivers to capacity and beyond, and finally found itself rushing through farms and villages and towns taking anything in its way on downstream.  Our local area Virginia Search and Rescue team led by Harrisonburg Deputy Fire Chief Mike Brady was called to help and they responded.  When word of the devastation reached Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, we responded with food and clothing and money and enormous sympathy.  Now it is time to rebuild and local groups such as the Great Appalachian Valley Conservation Corps, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District, and Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park have sent workers to help with that huge task. But rebuilding takes money.

Cathy Strickler, who founded the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley after she and her husband Charlie helped with Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, said she knew just how daunting that kind of work can be and thought Harrisonburg could continue to offer not just sympathy but also something more tangible.  Tim Brady, owner of Pale Fire Brewing Company, agreed with her and offered his tap room for the fundraiser. Everyone is invited to join CAAV members for a beer or two while you hear from Chief Brady and see the terrifying conditions his team faced during the flood. Then Zach Foster, Program Director of the Great Appalachian Valley Conservation Corps, who coordinated the local work crews sent in July to Rainelle, WV, will show you the extent of the recovery work still left to be done and where your donations will be used.

All money collected and a portion of beer sales will be donated to WV Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and their Disaster Relief Fund.

fb-art  Let us know you can attend through our facebook event page here.

Photo credit for photo of flood in WV used in image at top: Chad Agner/ Gray Television, Inc.

*Correction to “From Ruin to Recovery” announcement: The severe storm that caused the deadly flooding in WV in June was not a microburst. A microburst is a localized column of sinking air (downdraft) within a thunderstorm and is usually less than or equal to 2.5 miles in diameter. Microbursts can cause extensive damage at the surface, and in some instances, can be life-threatening.  It was more likely a Meso-Convective Complex, a large, long-lasting system of strong thunderstorms that persist for more than 6 hours. As our warming atmosphere can hold more and more water, these increase in frequency and severity.  Some writers have started calling them “rain bombs,” a term previously coined for microbursts, hence the confusion. For your astonishment, Google “microburst” but hope you’re never in one!

Joni Grady

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