Digging out from more destruction

MOTHER NATURE can be a mean woman. Quite destructive, also.

Sunday night’s monsoon rains yielded, as we all know by now, a slew of damage. More than $1 million in Belmont County alone.

That is a staggering amount of destruction in a short amount of time, especially in a county the size of Belmont. The area had to absorb nearly three inches of rain in in just a two-hour time frame.

That is a water onslaught of massive proportions. Havoc was unavoidable, with a few areas being pelted unmercifully.

Viewing photos from Neffs, Willow Grove and the outlying areas of Bridgeport were just numbing. You never expect a rainstorm to bring Belmont County to its knees.

Unfortunately, it is a scene which has played out all too frequently in the Ohio Valley. Sunday night was just the most recent as well as one of the ugliest.

Belmont County is fortunate when it comes to such scenarios as it has a highly efficient and battle-tested emergency management agency, headed by Dave Ivan. Moreover, the county commissioners quickly had their fingers on the pulse of the situation and subsequently declared a state of emergency.

In addition, the commissioners wasted no time in seeking state and federal disaster funding. Such monies are vital to the rebuilding process.

The lone bright spot is that no loss of life occurred.

The local weather fiasco is part of a national trend of Mother Nature’s wrath.

Minot, N.D. is currently being ravaged by flooding which may last for weeks while parts of Alabama were decimated earlier this spring by deadly tornadoes.

In due time, Belmont County will dig out from last week’s watery nightmare. The Ohio Valley personifies resiliency.

The $64,000 question is when will the Ohio Valley take another one on the chin?


GETTING $1.65 million to walk away is not a bad deal. That is what former WVU head grid coach Bill Stewart received as his exodus settlement. That is a nice chunk of change for a guy who was trying to dig up dirt on his eventual successor. WVU officials were more than generous in their parting gift.

STANLEY BLANKENSHIP has opted to retire as head girls’ basketball coach at John Marshall High School. I am disappointed to see the 61-year-old legend hang it up. He was a pioneer and innovator in the profession as well as being one of the most colorful. Stan was as good as you get when it came to coaching hoops. He retires as the winningest girls’ basketball coach in West Virginia annals.

THE MARTINS Ferry Chamber of Commerce held its monthly luncheon meeting Tuesday. Much of the discussion centered on the rapidly approaching Sky Show. The July 1 fireworks extravaganza is still in need of financial backing to help cover the costs. Chamber officials noted the annual academic banquet proved a success. The chamber will also be manning the sausage stand at the annual Betty Zane Days Festival Aug. 9-13.

I HAD the opportunity recently to take in Super 8, the movie filmed in Weirton. I would recommend it to people of all ages, including youngsters. Former Harrison County Commissioner Phil Madzia turned in a superlative cameo performance.

PRESIDENT OBAMA is taking the right road in implementing his troop withdrawal plan. After 11 years, it is time Iraq stands on its own and defends itself. Meanwhile, Obama was in Pittsburgh Friday to tout a $500 million venture to turn boarded up and decaying steel mills into high tech centers. I would rather see Obama channel the $500 million into reinvigorating the steel industry and sheltering them from foreign dumping. High tech could be a big boost down the road, steel — with government help — could make an instant impact.

WE WOULD like to extend our best wishes to former T-L Lifestyles Editor Kay Sedgmer, now undertaking a new career challenge in Harrison County. Kay came to the paper some four plus years ago. During that time she was the ultimate professional with a work ethic second to none. Kay was also blessed with the ability to cover hard news, write features, pen columns and cover sports when need be. She was a true credit to the profession.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader online.com