Mayor Andrea “Andy” Pendleton put her tennis shoes on while seated at the bench outside Rainelle City Hall in preparation for a walk Wednesday morning. She and Sandy Sorrell, Suzie Minturn and Robin Williams, members of the Rainelle Community Development Corporation, were going to walk down Kanawha Avenue and distribute 20 checks in the amount of $500 to “mom and pop” stores in the area that have reopened since the flood in June. Fifteen other locally owned businesses are on the list that haven’t reopened yet, and when they do, they will also receive this “token amount to show we care,” said Pendleton. The funds are all donated and came from all over, she said. The city opted to give the money to those who had no corporate backing and had been open serving the community before the flood.
A flower shop, a couple of hardware stores, an appliance store, a barber shop, a beauty shop and a laundry are among the businesses that were covered in water up to seven feet during the June 23 flood. Many others stores on the same street are still gutted and shuttered, displaying just how remarkable have been the efforts of these small, local shop-owners to recover and reopen to service the community in so short a time.