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Give: Appalachian flood victims need your help

Mountain State residents are always ready to help when disaster strikes our neighbors, and right now there are folks in Kentucky, southern West Virginia and western Virginia in desperate need of help after being hit by flooding and storms. By Monday morning, the death toll in Kentucky was 30, though the governor said bodies have since been recovered that are not yet part of that number.

According to the National Weather Service, more rain could mean flash flooding through this morning. Then the temperatures will rise.

There are 300 people in shelters in Kentucky alone — more than 12,000 without electricity.

West Virginia’s National Guard unit in Williamstown has already helped rescue people and pets.

“The West Virginia Guard has an exceptionally great working relationship with the Kentucky National Guard’s aviation team, and we have supported each other for many years in response to natural disasters in our states,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Harold Nicely, West Virginia state aviation officer. “We are just a small part of the overall response taking place, but to be able to be there to support our colleagues and the people of Kentucky is truly an honor.”

It will take more than a military effort to help these people now, and as they recover. It will take the kind of help that others in Appalachia seem always to manage to provide. They’ll need food, clothes, clean water, help rebuilding homes and businesses … sadly, most of us know the drill.

But plenty of us are also able to step up and provide that help. Chefs and owners of a couple of West Virginia restaurants have already decided to head to Kentucky to help with the feeding part. They can’t do it all.

Research reputable organizations for doing so, but then, if you have the means — whether financial or being able to offer a little elbow grease — please do what you can to help.

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