CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Brad Paisley said he’s shocked and heartbroken by the destruction from deadly flooding in his home state of West Virginia.

On Thursday the singer visited flood-ravaged Clendenin, a town of 1,200 people ravaged by the swollen Elk River last week. Bridges were destroyed and homes were ripped from their foundations. Six people in Kanawha County died and 23 were killed statewide.

“It’s crazy,” Paisley said in a telephone interview. “There isn’t much of that town that wasn’t underwater. The school was underwater. The fire department was underwater. The Dairy Queen is demolished. The Rite Aid is demolished. As a person who comes from a small town about that size, it’s nuts.”

Paisley was especially moved by a family with five young children he saw on a porch on a steep hill above a now-dry creek. The water had risen high enough to flood their home.

“I realized I think they just walked up to the top of the mountain and waited it out. That’s what they would have had to have done,” he said.

The native of Glen Dale said the local residents are resilient and determined to rebuild. He said volunteers are everywhere helping out. But what the victims of the widespread destruction need most right now is money.

Paisley is hoping to raise $1 million for flood-recovery efforts and has given $100,000 of his own money toward that cause.

His crowdfunding campaign has raised an additional $193,000 as of Thursday afternoon after being launched a day earlier.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.