Raging Flood Inundates Towns in West Virginia; State of Emergency Declared

Flood due to heavy rain once again submerged several towns in West Virginia from Sunday evening to Monday morning, August 14 to August 15.

While there were no immediate reports of casualties, the floodwaters affected around hundreds of homes in at least two counties.

Furthermore, it also damaged or destroyed infrastructure as floodwaters washed away bridges, causing several water rescues.

Western Virginia declared a state of emergency in two counties, where residences were damaged by the overnight flash flooding.

The cause of the rapid rise of flood levels is the occurrence of torrential rain in just a few hours. This even surpassed the amount of rainfall that the state had incurred in July, which is still part of the current summer season of the United States that kicked off in June.

Local authorities consider the heavy downpour as a record-breaking rain event; such assessment is due to the relatively significant amount of rainfall that occurred during the said period.

The authorities said the precipitation in some areas is reportedly greater than the state’s typical August rain-related weather events.

The latest West Virginia flooding comes less than a month after similar weather hazards in the state resulted in dozens of missing people, which were all found later on following wide-scale search and rescue operations.

In communities still recovering from July’s massive flooding, related hazards could still continue in the coming days this week.

West Virginia Flooding

(Photo : Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)

Authorities stated that the floodwaters that entered the Kanawha County, West Virginia, on Sunday occurred after it received up to six inches of rainfall, prompting over 500 emergency calls to the local 911 hotline and 130 calls for dispatched service, as well as 25 calls for water rescues, as cited by AccuWeather.

Kent Carper, president of the country commission, confirmed that the recent rainfall alone as of Monday surpassed the average rainfall of 3.75 inches in August, based on estimates each year.

Local officials added that the flooding at Campbells Creek in Kanawha County damaged at least 100 houses and at least two bridges in the Hughes Creek area.

Also Read: Virginia Flood Update: Authorities Have Found All Missing People in the Aftermath of Severe Flooding

State of Emergency

In response to the catastrophic event, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice declared the state of emergency for Kanawha and the nearby Fayette County, which also received the brunt of the inclement weather as of Monday morning.

In one instance, two vehicles nearly submerged into floodwaters in Smithers Creek, a local creek near the Cannelton area of Fayette.

Over 1,000 power outages have also been reported in the town of Smithers, according to the utility tracking site PowerOutageUS.

In a news release, the Kanawha County Commissioners confirmed they received the overnight record rainfall, which prompted the opening of the county emergency operations center, as cited by Fox Weather.

The center aims to provide federal flood aid and disaster assistance.

The National Weather Service (NWS) – Weather Prediction Center (WPC) said further heavy rain will continue to affect the region, including the mid-Mississippi and Tennessee Valley, and its nearby interior Gulf Coast from Wednesday.

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Related Article: All Missing People During Virginia Flood Finally Accounted For

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