I come from a family of nine. The Lord blessed us all to make it thru the flood. But not without scars of that day. It was Feb 26 th 1972, the morning of the flood about 7 o'clock am . A miner came to our house and told my Dad that the dam looked bad. We all got out of the bed and we kids didn't take it serious we turned on the TV to watch cartoons. About 8 o'clock my dad was in his bedroom and had one boot on and then car horns and people screaming for us to get out and hit the mountains. We lived at Pardee, My dad drove to a place called Davie holler at Laredo as my dad turned up the holler he drove up on a bank and we all jumped out of the car and as we were getting out of the car the water was hitting the trunk of our car. And we climbed the mountain and there was so many people climbing up the mountain and nobody knew how far the water was going to come up the mountain. It was cold and raining mixed with snow and I don't know how long we stayed in the mountain. I believe it was two or three hours because they had said there was another dam bigger than that one was going to break. I would never imagine what happened whole houses, rooftops,trees, cars, and the water was as black as soot coming down the valley. My dad took us to a little building something like a smoke house or tool shed or something like that. We stayed three days in the little building. On the 27th I help my dad to gather water and food. We went out of the holler and they we searching for survivors. And at 42 today I wouldn't want to see what I seen when I was 14. People laying with their arms wrapped around posts and furniture and one in particular a little girl that we had played with at first I thought was an animal. When some of the older men pulled her out of a jeep I went numb. Nothing had really affected up to that point until reality hit me hard. That so many people had died and was killed. I never closed my eyes from that point on. My dad was my strength and he was a big man but I saw him cry like a baby. On the 28th the national guard took US to the man high school. Then in the evening of the 28th they took me to man hospital. And they gave me something to make me sleep. Then we later went to my Aunts house in Sharpless we were there maybe three weeks the we moved to Mingo county. I had to go for counseling. I had problems sleeping I would get up in the middle of the night I would try to climb out of windows. And later I had a nervous breakdown they put me in the hospital where they would put me to sleep and wake me up. I spent two weeks in the hospital which I don"t remember much of those two weeks. After getting out of the hospital I had to take medication for sleeping disorder for a year after that. Even today I have thoughts about those days and it seems like yesterday and I hope my kids never go thru any thing like that . My Dad was Archie Quentin Marcum(deceased in 1986) Mother was Mary Ellen Hall Marcum(deceased in 89) Brothers: Roger Dale, Ernest (deceased in a truck wreck in 93) Paul, Bruce, Thomas, Sisters Sandy, and Linda Marcum, and I am Clayton Douglas Marcum.
People just don't know how fast life can be snatched away. I thank the lord for me and my family but my heart goes out to those families whose loved ones didn't make it.
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