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Heavy Rain Closes Roads, Knocks Out Power Across West Virginia

Floodwaters Bruceton Mills
Brian King
Bruceton-Brandonville Fire Department drone
Floodwaters in Bruceton Mills in Preston County on Monday.

After heavy rain doused the region on Sunday, rivers, creeks and streams rose above flood level and closed dozens of roads across West Virginia on Monday.

The National Weather Service (NWS) extended flood warnings until 10 p.m. for regions of the state in the east and west.

“Flooding, significant in many areas, persists across the area,” the NWS wrote in a warning around noon. “Many roads remain closed as a result, especially secondary roads. Despite rain having ended, floodwaters will remain high for much of the remainder of the day.”

Photos posted to social media showed a slew of abandoned, submerged vehicles as well as roadways and neighborhoods in floodwaters.

On Saturday, Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of preparedness for 50 counties, with the exception of the Northern Panhandle, in advance of expected flooding.

The flooding has closed over a hundred roads in the greater Huntington area for the same residents who have just recovered from a series of winter storms that knocked out power to tens of thousands last month.

In Kanawha County, emergency services responded to 10 water rescues and in a Facebook post urged motorists to not drive through standing water and avoid regions prone to flooding.

Appalachian Power reports 8,000 customers in West Virginia are without power as of 1 p.m. Monday.

Rising floodwaters from the Elk River broke a water plant and pumps in Clay County and the Clay Roane Public Service District told customers they will run out of water Monday evening.

“Our Procious tanks are dangerous low and can not be refilled until the waters recede and the issue is repaired,” they wrote in a Facebook post.

The NWS forecasted “moderate flooding” in areas along the Elk, Tug Fork, Coal and Mud rivers and extended warnings along the Elk River into Tuesday.

In north-central West Virginia, rivers are forecasted to crest Monday evening at or just below minor flood level, lower than initial forecasts predicting historic flood levels.

Duncan is a news reporter based in Morgantown. A journalism student at West Virginia University, he also works as the photo editor of the Daily Athenaeum, WVU's student newspaper. Previously, he worked at the Frederick News-Post. Reach Duncan on Twitter @duncan_slade or by email dslade@wvpublic.org

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