In late June 2016, Summersville Lake reached its 2nd highest pool of record in history. The drainage basin received nearly 5-7 inches of rain in less than a 12 hour period. The entire project was evacuated, including a corps managed campground, a concessionaire campground, marina, day use areas in only about 6 hours as the lake elevation climbed 42 feet in the next 48 hours.
The aftermath of the flood was the big story, every restroom and day use area the Corps operated was covered in water and if that wasn’t bad enough, the project was only 45 days away of having one of the biggest events at Summersville Lake since its opening, the 50th Anniversary.
The eight volunteers that we had at the time never left the lake from day one. They volunteered 5-7 days a week for the next 20 days and working long days to assist with the clean-up. They performed many tasks, retrieving picnic tables, boats that broke away from marina and campground, replacing buoys on the lake, assisted with drift cleanup, debris removal from campground, cleaning of restrooms and shower houses, along with many other tasks. They worked the first two weeks and with tremendous efforts the campground was opened back up and spotless.
Not only did they work to get campground open but assisted with organizing the efforts of getting the boats ramps and parking ramps cleaned off and they were all operational within 10 days after the flood. They spent many hours with their own boats pulling large trees and tying them to the shoreline. Then they spent many hours assisting with the 50th Anniversary of Summersville and all the events that surrounded the weekend which several thousand attended.
Each of these volunteers have volunteered their time for the past 5-10 years and average a combined 2500 hours annually with a value of to the Corps and Summersville Lake of $75,000 annually. This group of volunteers for the last 5 years have a combined 12,000 hours of volunteer time they have given back to Summersville Lake.
The following volunteers was presented with a volunteer of excellence coin for their efforts cleaning up the flood of 2016 and continued support at Summersville Lake.
Rod & Phyllis Stapler
Roger & Melanie Stollings
Troy & Debbie Bailey
Gary & Kim Walker