kanawha county

On This Day: April 12
  • 1864: Fort Pillow massacre of 300 Black American troops and civilians by Confederate forces during Civil War.
  • 1871: The Paris Commune decides the Victory Column should be demolished as a symbol of chauvinism and incitement to national hatred.
  • 1900: Florence Reece born. Wrote “Which Side Are You On?”.
  • 1904: A Spanish anarchist attempted to kill Spain’s Prime Minister Antonio Maura.
  • 1906: Catalan anarchist Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia organized a demonstration in support of secular education.
  • 1912: UMWA miners on Paint Creek in Kanawha County,Virginia begin one of most violent strikes in US history.
  • 1914: End of Northern Michigan copper miners strike for the 8 hour day, higher wages and union recognition.
  • 1917: Ontario women win the right to vote in provincial elections.
  • 1927: The Shanghai commune is defeated by Chaing Kai Sek’s troops who kill thousands of commune members.
  • 1934: 6,000 workers start the 2-month long Toledo, OH Auto-Lite strike over union recognition and wages. It was known for its conflicts with the National Guard.
  • 1937: 60 000 US students protest in first ever nationwide student strike over participation in any war.
  • 1963: Martin Luther King Jr is arrested in Birmingham for “parading without a permit”.
  • 1986: 6,000 people demonstrate in Austin, MN, against Hormel and police after strikers were teargassed the day before.
  • 1989: American anarchist Abbie Hoffman committed suicide. He had co-founded the Youth International Party (“Yippies”).
  • 2010: Death of Canadian trade unionist and syndicalist Michel Chartrand.

The West Virginia Flood of 2016 (Pt. 1)

Recently I took a sunday afternoon drive to Clendenin, West Virginia. Clendenin is a town in Kanawha County that was one of many areas that were affected by the flooding that occurred last summer when around 10 inches of rain fell in a 12 hour period. When it was all said and done 23 people lost their lives, 6 of those being in Kanawha County. It was one of the worst floods in West Virginia history and the deadliest flash flood in the US since the 2010 flooding in Tennessee. The destruction was so severe and widespread that the governor declared a state of emergency for 44 of the 55 counties in West Virginia.

Flooding in Appalachia is a subject that hits deep with me. The summer before my senior year of high school a flash flood hit southern West Virginia where I lived in Wyoming County. I wasn’t home at the time but the way my mother tells it the flooding only lasted about 20 minutes. That’s all it took. 20 Minutes for 4 feet of muddy water from the overflowing Guyandotte River to rush through our house and destroy everything we had. The river was at the end of our dead end street and normally didn’t have a depth of more than a few feet, but that day it had crested at 18-20 feet in places. During the actual flooding I was a few miles outside of town riding an atv through the mountains with a friend. Up until that point in my 17 years on this planet I had never been on an atv and I was having the time of my life speeding through the southern West Virginia landscape. To this day the irony kills me that while I was off enjoying myself, everything I had acquired in life was being destroyed.  

When I arrived in Clendenin I was shocked to see it still in the shape that it was in. The flood happened in June of 2016, here it was January 2017 and it appeared as if the river had just ran through a couple of weeks ago. Piles of people’s belongings stacked in front of ruined homes, trash carried by the river hanging from tree limbs, rows of closed businesses, and that stench of dampness and mold. All the terrible memories I had from the flood of 2001 came crashing back. It really makes me sick to think of all the money that is spent on something like a presidential campaign, where one person is basically just saying “look how much of an asshole my opponent is”, when that same amount of money could easily be put to an area such as this and help people rebuild their lives.


There’s been a chemical leak in the water in Kanawah county.

The state of emergency includes West Virginia American Water customers in Boone, Lincoln, Kanawha, Jackson and Putnam counties.

WVAW customers are told not to use tap water for drinking, cooking, washing, or bathing. You can use the water for toilets and fire emergencies. Boiling water will not get rid of the chemical.

This is believed to impact 100,000 customers.

Homeland Security says if you feel sick, seek medical attention at a local hospital or call poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

West Virginia American Water believes the material is hazardous, but is not lethal in it’s current form.

Officials describe the smell as something similar to liquorice.

They say customers with St. Albans, Cedar Grove Water, Town of West Hamlin Water, Branchland-Midkiff PSD, Putnam PSD are not affected by this leak.


EDIT: Logan, Clay, and Roane counties have also been effected.

A Year In Pictures: Day 20

Wow, what a beautiful day. Blue skies…

Amazing company. A nice drive. My camera. 

I went chasing waterfalls today, despite the fact that TLC told me not to. 

One day I will actually plan ahead better and take my tripod. A necessity for a great waterfall shot, in order to use the filter and manual settings the best. 

I went to Kanawha Falls. 

The water was raging pretty wildly. It had recently flooded as the parking lot shows. 

I decided not to use the handicap parking. 

I also decided not to use the water fountain. 

I had hoped to go swimming, but the sign prohibited it. 

The sound of the falls was deafening. 

The sun was also amazing today.

After the Kanawha Falls, I went to the Cathedral Falls. 

I was with a friend, and we had lunch at Glen Ferris Inn. 

Lunch was relaxing and delicious. 

Here is the view right outside the Inn. 

I will shut up now, and just post some more pictures. :D

Here is a third little water fall we found beside the road. 

Today in labor history, February 13, 1913: After West Virginia Governor William E. Glasscock declares martial law to put down the coal miners’ strike in in Kanawha county, 83-year old activist and organizer Mary Harris “Mother” Jones is arrested. She was tried and convicted by a military court and sentenced to twenty years in prison. “Whatever I have done in West Virginia,” she said, “I have done it all over the United States. And when I get out, I will do it again.” She was released and pardoned after serving 85 days.  

Dispatch from back home...

Checked in on my sister last night. She drove to my parents house to fill up containers (my parents live in one of two cities in Kanawha County with water not supplied by WV American Water and can therefore use theirs). She said water testing had shown that the chemical readings had gone from 2 PPM to 1.7 PPM Friday night but a local news channel was reporting yesterday that the retaining wall was still leaking and the spill was up to at least 7,500 gallons and the readings were back up to 3 last night. (Readings have to be less than 1 PPM consistently before they can even start flushing water systems. They’re back down to 1 PPM today but not consistently.)

She also told me that the owner of Freedom Industries recently acquired the company and knew that the retaining wall needed at least $1 million in repairs. And former contractors are speaking out about Freedom Industries now. So everyone involved, former owners and current, knew this thing was a fucking time bomb and they did nothing.

This is a BIG DEAL. Over 300,000 people cannot use their water right now. They can’t drink it or bathe in it. They can’t wash their hands or do their laundry. Their water has been poisoned by a greedy corporation. This should be all over the national news. I should be seeing this shared by people from all over on my FB feed. But I’m not. The only people talking about it are WV residents and ex-pats. If we’re ever going to get anywhere in our fight against Big Coal, we need outside help. They’ve been destroying our land for decades. This needs to end.