Once again we find ourselves scrapping an already-written PopCulteer to bring you some news and advice. West Virginia has been hit with severe flooding, and as I write this 44 counties are under a state of emergency and two local bridges (The Dunbar Toll Bridge and the Nitro-St. Albans Bridge) are closed for inspection after being hit by runaway barges. There are many events planned for this weekend, and you probably want to reconsider your plans and keep up-to-date via social media to see if they’re still happening.
The Crossings Mall in Elkview is cut off from the main road, leaving hundreds of people stranded. Live on the Levee with Dangermuffin has not been officially canceled for tonight, but you probably want to check social media before you leave your house. It’s not clear if the stage at Haddad Riverfront Park will be above water tonight. Saint Albans’ Riverfest is possibly also in question. Please use common sense. Don’t try to drive across standing water. Check social media to make sure that any events you plan to attend are still happening, and that your route to those events is clear.
You can get updates from the WV Division of Homeland Security Facebook Page as well as the Gazette-Mail and other news sites. Our image for this post is one of Chris Dorst’s photos for the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
I would imagine that the month of July will be filled with benefit concerts and shows to help the victims of this flooding. We’ll try to keep you up to date on all that as it happens. This state has a long history of the artistic and musical communities coming together to help after a disaster. I first met Larry Groce over thirty years ago when I was running camera for Public Television and he had organized a benefit telethon for flood relief that originated from the Cultural Center. Over twenty years ago I put together a flood relief benefit for The Red Cross at The Empty Glass with The Carpenter Ants and the Leon Waters Blues Band.
But before we get to that point, we need to make it through the crisis, so please, if you are fortunate enough to remain dry and safe, please do not attempt to attend any events until you are certain that the event is still happening and that you can get there safely. We don’t need any of the tragic circumstances that this extreme weather brought us compounded. I’m hoping that FestivAll will be back on schedule by Saturday, but you can check their Facebook page to make sure.
I’m not telling you to hide in your house and skip all the cool local events that are supposed to happen this weekend, but please, use common sense and don’t put yourself in any danger. With major highways closed and bridges washed-out, take the time to make sure you can get where you want to go safely.
The content originally scheduled for today’s PopCulteer will be posted to this blog over the next week.