CLEAR SPRING, Md. (WDVM) — It has been six years since a western Maryland town was devastated from an overflowing Conococheague Creek, but locals are still hard at work to emerge from the devastation that prompted a gubernatorial state of emergency and countless evacuations along a five-mile stretch of Route 40.
Clear Spring townsfolk remember the American Red Cross and federal relief helping in disaster recovery. For many, it was replacing every stitch of clothing in their closets and food in their pantries.
Joshua Merrbaugh, a contractor of Allegany Wrecking and Salvage is rehabbing some of the center-of-town structures but remembers well the desperate struggle of flood recovery. “There were collection plates at the general store. Some folks lost everything, things that can never be replaced. It was awful.”
With renewed energy contractors are renovating structures that can be restored and on lots where other downtown parcels are beyond repair, green space is being created.
Merrbaugh’s co-worker, Tim Stotelmyer, hopes that as the town rebuilds it takes precautions that can prevent the devastation from 2014. “These houses have to be built a bit higher off the ground and the gaps need to be closed,” he says. “Otherwise we’re likely to going through this exercise again.”