ELKINS, West Virginia (AP) — Severe weekend thunderstorms caused flash flooding that knocked homes off their foundations and washed out roads in several mountainous counties of West Virginia in the United States (US), prompting Governor Jim Justice to announce plans last Sunday to declare a state of emergency in the region.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for portions of northern and eastern West Virginia after several inches of rain fell rapidly last Saturday night. High water and mudslides forces several roads to be closed, including four-lane US Route 33.
There were no immediate reports of any deaths or injuries.
In a letter last Sunday afternoon, state senators and delegates representing Pendleton, Preston, Randolph and Tucker counties asked the governor to respond quickly so state resources could quickly reach the flood-hit areas.
Justice, after being briefed Sunday on the extent of the flooding, said in a news release that he would make an emergency declaration official yesterday.
The statement said the governor also authorised the state Department of Homeland Security and the West Virginia emergency management director to speed state resources to those in need. The West Virginia National Guard also was called to assist flood victims and the state’s emergency operations centre was activated.
According to The Inter-Mountain of Elkins, the Randolph County Commission said in a statement that the flooding knocked homes off their foundations in the Harman, Job and Whitmer area of the state. It added that volunteer fire departments and swift boat rescue crews were sent to assist residents.
“Please keep the people of this area in your thoughts and prayers,” the statement said.