WHEELING, W.Va. — Virginia Cage was married in 1950, the same year she and her husband started building their home in Wheeling. Cage and her husband moved into their new home in 1953, but now she hopes she will be able to restore the home where she raised her two sons after the basement was flooded by backwater last week
“If Christian Appalachian Project had not been here to help me, I don’t know how I would have worked it out,” said Cage, who is 92 and needs a wheelchair to assist with mobility. “I would have cried a lot.”
Her next-door neighbors, Frank and Betty Ennis, frequently check on her and were the ones that discovered her home had been impacted. “We had sewage backed up in our basement, so we knew we had to check on Virginia.”
The Ennis family lost their washer and dryer, furnace and hot water heater. Cage also lost her hot water heater and furnace to the flash flooding that left her basement coated with mud.
“The water just came down over the hill,” Cage recalled. “The creek out front never even came up over the road, it was the water coming down the hill.”
Christian Appalachian Project’s Disaster Relief Program responded to the flooding in Ohio and Marshall counties through a partnership that connects agencies from Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia. CAP staff and volunteers helped muck out Cage’s basement and treated the Ennis family basement which had mold starting to grow along the bottom of the basement walls.
“I kept calling trying to get help because both of my sons live out of state,” Cage said. “Once Betty talked to someone and I knew I was on the list to get help, it helped my stress level. Knowing help was on the way made me feel better.”
Additional volunteers from CAP will be arriving throughout the weekend and will continue to assist local residents with initial cleanup efforts. CAP has partnered with Rose Hart of Appalachian Outreach. CAP volunteers are being housed at Bishop Donahue High School while in the area. CAP is also assisting with distribution of some food items and cleaning supplies to assist residents.