By Robyn Collins
On Thursday (June 30), country superstar Brad Paisley visited flood-ravaged Clendenin, West Virginia, a town of 1,200 people ravaged by the swollen Elk River last week. Bridges were destroyed, homes were ripped from their foundations, buildings were damaged beyond use. Six people in Kanawha County died and 23 were killed statewide.
Paisley was so devastated by the damage he launched a campaign on June 29 to raise $1 million for flood-recovery efforts and donated $100,000 to the fund. As of Thursday afternoon (June 30) he had raised an additional $193,000.
“It’s crazy,” Paisley told Billboard. “There isn’t much of that town that wasn’t under water. The school was under water. The fire department was under water. 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.”
The Glen Dale, West Virginia native said volunteers are everywhere helping out, but what the victims need most right now is money. When asked if a benefit concert is planned, Paisley said, “We’re focused on trying to get money and the necessary resources here,” he said. “In my mind we’re kind of toying with the idea. That to me comes later. And I don’t know how much later. The most inappropriate thing I can think of right now is to set up and play music in this spot. This is pretty close to home if you live in Appalachia. We’re all neighbors and we’re all similar people.”
Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) June 30, 2016