Recent flash flooding in West Virginia has led to devastating losses, destroying more than 1,000 homes and killing at least 23 people across the state. Dozens of restaurants have been affected, too, and according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, many are now out of work as a result.
The newspaper reports that restaurants like Cook’s Country Kitchen in the city of White Sulphur Springs are now trying to pick up the pieces after being enveloped by flood waters. In a Facebook post dated June 29, the restaurant wrote that its efforts to clean up had been hindered due to a lack of running water:
In a separate post, the restaurant announced that it would be closed indefinitely due to the damage sustained during the flood. Photos showed water rushing by and through the restaurant, which looked to be full of at least ankle-deep water.
Nearby, historic resort The Greenbrier was forced to close for two weeks due to the flooding; it's set to reopen July 12. "We had some major damage in different parts of the hotel, and it’s taken a lot of work to get The Greenbrier back to the standard that our guests expect," said Jim Justice, Greenbrier owner and CEO, in a press release. "But my dad once told me that if you can’t get it done in 24 hours a day, then you’re gonna have to work nights. We’ve worked a lot of nights, because we know just how important it is to have The Greenbrier up and running and guests coming here to visit."
Nearly 2,000 people work at the resort, making it one of the largest employers in southern West Virginia. "For this region and this state to get back on its feet, the people need to be working," said Justice. "A number of team members at The Greenbrier lost everything, and they can’t rebuild if they don’t have a place to work."
The resort has been operating as a shelter of sorts for flood victims, housing and feeding more than 700 people since flooding first swept through the region in late June.
Fruits of Labor, a restaurant that doubles as a training program for drug offenders looking to get back on their feet, reportedly lost everything in the floods — "every supply, every fork, every spoon, every fridge," according to local news station WDBJ7. Local groups are currently fundraising so that the restaurant, and others like it, can eventually reopen.