Jun 30, 2016

Greenbrier turns into shelter for West Virginia flood refugees

Greenbrier County, WV
USA
by
Associated Press
Photo: Jay Rigdon / The Comeback / Yardbarker
Photo: Jay Rigdon / The Comeback / Yardbarker

It could be a month or two until an iconic West Virginia resort reopens after deadly, damaging floods, but its maimed championship golf course may not be ready for play much before the PGA Tour rolls through next July, resort owner Jim Justice said.

The floods that swept through West Virginia last week and killed at least 23 people statewide carved a path of destruction unseen in generations at the historic Greenbrier.

Running through the Old White TPC golf course, Howard's Creek raged over its banks during the pounding storms Thursday. When the worst of it was over, Greenbrier employees came upon two bodies on the resort grounds and are draining a lake on the 16th fairway to search for more.

Dating back to 1778, the 700-room resort with an iconic white facade has long been one of the jewels of West Virginia's tourism industry, hosting presidents and royalty and holding a once-secret underground bunker built for Congress in case of nuclear attack during the Cold War.

But on Tuesday, 300 of the neediest victims from the flood-ravaged area occupied the rooms, and the hotel was closed for business while it fed and sheltered the disaster refugees