As several southern West Virginia counties prepare for heavy rainfall and flash flooding Wednesday night, the governor is already calling emergency responders to action.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for 13 West Virginia counties Wednesday afternoon. At the time of this publication, officials expect the watch to last until Friday.
The West Virginia National Guard on Wednesday warned against driving during the downpour.
The southern coalfields are just a piece of a larger flash flood watch issued for a long stretch of Appalachia, spanning Georgia, Alabama, the Carolinas, Virginia and Kentucky.
In West Virginia, the affected area includes Boone, Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Monroe, Nicholas, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming counties.
The Guard, along with the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said Wednesday both groups were monitoring conditions in West Virginia. According to a press release, the agencies will coordinate with local emergency management leaders as necessary.
West Virginia is still struggling to rebuild in several southern counties after flooding in 2016 damaged more than 4,000 structures and killed 23 people.
Justice recently sent the guard to help with clean-up efforts after a handful of eastern counties dealt with flash flooding in July.
Emily Allen is a Report for America corps member.