Multiple fatalities reported in West Virginia flooding

Image of semi trapped in West Virginia flood waters.


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Multiple fatalities have been reported in flooding that has devastated parts of the state, a state official said Friday morning.

Chris Stadelman, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s communications director, said some areas were “probably looking at flooding that’s going to be the worst in 100 years.”

At least two fatalities related to the flooding were reported after storms rolled into West Virginia early Thursday and continued throughout the day leaving thousands without power and several roads impassable.

The fatalities included at least one child and one adult. Wheeling police told newspaper The Intelligencer that an 8-year-old boy died after he was swept away by swift water. Brooke Hylbert, Kanawha Metro 911 agency coordinator, told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that a man drowned in Clendenin, but she didn’t have details.

Stadelman said Friday morning that some areas were “devastated.” He said the hardest hit counties included Greenbrier, Nicholas, Fayette, Kanawha and Webster.

Meanwhile across the state line, Virginia’s governor declared a state of emergency in Alleghany County and Covington after severe weather and flooding there. Gov. Terry McAuliffe tweeted Thursday night that a state of emergency has been declared, allowing state agencies to bypass some time-consuming procedures to quickly help local governments.

The Virginia Department of Transportation warns that more than a dozen Alleghany County roads were closed Friday morning due to flooding and there were reports of downed trees and utility lines. Dominion Power reports about 1,700 customers without power statewide.

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