Memorial, parks honor victims of 2016 West Virginia floods

FILE - In this June 24, 2016 file photo, road signs signaling to US 119 along Frame Road in Elkview, W.Va., are surrounded by flood waters. A year after the floods, the owner of the Crossings Mall in Elkview is replacing a washed-out bridge that made the mall inaccessible and forced hundreds to be laid off or displaced, although two anchor stores are returning. A Kroger plans to reopen in August 2017, and Kmart has said it will reopen once the bridge is rebuilt. (Sam Owens/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP)

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) – Rain falling like it would never end has changed the meaning of summer in this tiny corner of Appalachia.

When the downpour finally subsided in White Sulphur Springs on June 23, 2016, five lives had been lost along one road alone – Mill Hill Drive. And 23 people were dead statewide in West Virginia’s worst flooding since 1985.

As floodwaters receded, a muddy landscape of ruined homes and businesses, wiped-out roads and devastated lives emerged in hard-hit Greenbrier County. Then there followed an army of volunteers, donors and government workers, rallying to help

On the anniversary of those rains, a memorial wall, museum and a series of parks linked by sidewalks around Mill Hill Drive will be dedicated Friday for victims and the community. It’s a place where nearly a dozen businesses have re-opened, and few here are untouched by tragedy.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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