This story was written by Joe Nelson

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Scott’s Run Settlement House has begun the recovery process after flood damage affected their old headquarters.

Almost a week after a water line at the charity organization’s long-time Osage location caused a flood in the basement and thousands of dollars worth of damage, Scott’s Run Settlement House Executive Director Michael Richard offered an update that included a temporary change in operations. Richard, who was on WAJR’s Talk of the Town on Wednesday, told residents that scheduled giveaways are still moving forward with the new Cheat Lake location now operational as damage continues to be assessed in Osage.

“There’s a long way to go as far as the repairs go, it could’ve been a lot worse and no one was hurt,” said Richard, grateful that no more damage was done to the old Scott’s Run Settlement House headquarters. “We are working through it, and we’ll have the building back up and running as soon as we can,” he said.

According to Richard, the water damage was caused by a break in the Osage facility’s sprinkler system that eventually led to a flood in the basement that damaged at least seven refrigerators and other pieces of office equipment. A significant amount of donations were also lost, including diapers, formula, children’s clothes, and food, which are part of over 12,000 individual care packages that are given out to county residents on a weekly basis. As a result, plans for the Osage location to be opened as a satellite distribution center have been put on hold while a move is being completed at their new Cheat Lake location.

“We’ve probably lost at least seven refrigerators and freezers full of food, primarily meat,” said Richard. “We lost some shelves, some dried goods, canned goods, bread, essentially what we have had stocked to serve as kind of like our satellite location,” he said.

The damage to the Scott’s Run Settlement House Osage location did not affect the opening of their new Cheat Lake location at Fairchance Road on Monday, but it did affect the distribution of hundreds of pounds of food that is given out to county residents. To adjust to the predicament, Richard stated that operations such as food distribution and social service aid will be up and running at their Cheat Lake facility, as a final damage inventory will cause a temporary closure at their Osage facility. This will allow for clients, many of whom are from the north-eastern part of the county, to still use their services.

“We’re fully operational over at the Fairchance-Cheat Lake building, that’s where our main food pantry is,” said Richard. “Our backpack program (is there), our seasonal programming, and our senior box feeding program will be over there, and then we also plan to use our original location for a one-day-a-week pantry,” he said.

While the long-term prospects of the Scott’s Run Settlement House are not expected to be affected by the flood damage, Richard and other members of the Scott’s Run Settlement House encouraged residents to contact them regarding donations and volunteering in cleanup efforts. While no volunteers will be allowed inside the Osage location for the time being due to safety concerns, donations will still be accepted, with local Sam’s Club locations offering non-perishable food items to be given to area residents as part of their partnership. In the meantime, the Scott’s Run Settlement House appears ready to move forward and continue to serve the community.

“We’re working on getting it cleaned up, we still have some restrictions about getting community help in, because we have to remove the mold, the leaking, things like that,” said Richard. “We’ll have calls for community help to get us reestablished over there,” he said.

The Scott’s Run Settlement House has been active in the Monongalia County community since 1922.

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