Update: Crews Work to Assist Flood Victims & Clean Up Roads

Updated 7/31/17 4:16 p.m.

Flood cleanup continues in northern counties in West Virginia. The National Guard is on the scene in the worst-hit areas, like Marion County, where some say it’s the worst flood they’ve seen since the 80s.

Emergency officials in Marion Country report ten teams there are out cleaning and assessing damage. No reported fatalities or injuries were reported in the aftermath of the flooding that swept the area into the weekend.

Officials from the state’s Department of Transportation report all roads are operational. The DOT is surveying and documenting damage to report to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.   

Cleanup in other northern counties continues as well. Ohio County residents outside of Wheeling are struggling to get rid flood waste and debris cleared from homes and property - emergency management officials there say they hope the National Guard will be able to help this week.

West Virginia’s Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster - VOAD - is organizing relief efforts as well at the Red Cross. 

 

Updated 7/30/17 7:16 p.m

West Virginia highway crews are assessing damage to roads and bridges following severe floods.

Department of Transportation spokeswoman Carrie Jones says in a news release that maintenance crews will focus on clearing mud slides and downed trees in northern West Virginia.

Jones says all or parts of more than 20 roads in nine counties either are closed or damaged.

Gov. Jim Justice has declared a state of emergency in eight counties and mobilized the National Guard to assist communities. The counties are Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Taylor, Tucker and Wetzel.

First responders from across the state, National Guard and Division of Highways personnel are working in the flooded areas of the state.

“Numerous evacuations have and are continuing to take place and as of right now no fatalities or serious injuries have been reported-and we want to keep it that way," Gov. Justice said in a release Sunday.

The National Weather Service says more than 3 inches of rain fell in some areas Friday night and early Saturday.

Shelters Open to Assist Flood Victims

Updated 7-30 1:44 p.m.

The American Red Cross has opened two shelters in West Virginia to assist people in need after flooding ripped through the northern part of the state.

Sunday afternoon, the Red Cross Shelter Map showed shelters were available at:

  • North Marion High School at 1 N Marion Dr. in Rachel, W.Va.
  • Hundred High School at 3490 Hornet Hwy. in Hundred, W.Va.

According to the Red Cross West Virginia Facebook page, victims can find cleaning supplies, water, showers and a place to stay. Shelters will stay open based on need so victims should check the status of the shelter before visiting. You can find updates on shelters provided by the Red Cross on the Red Cross Shelter Map webpage or on the Red Cross emergency app.

State of Emergency in 8 Counties

Updated 7-29 4:45 p.m.

Gov. Jim Justice has expanded the state of emergency declaration, adding Taylor and Tucker counties to the list of counties heavily impacted by Saturday's high waters. Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Marion, Monongalia and Harrison counties are also under a state of emergency.

At 4 p.m. Justice issued the following statement via twitter:

“We are extremely saddened and deeply concerned for all West Virginians that are experiencing flooding and damage right now,” said Justice. “We have mobilized our National Guard and Highways personnel and they are assisting other first responders from across the state to make sure our citizens in these affected are as are being kept safe and out of harm’s way. Numerous evacuations have and are continuing to take place and as of right now no fatalities or serious injuries have been reported-and we want to keep it that way."

Original Story:

Saturday morning, July 29, Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for six counties in the Northern Panhandle and north-central West Virginia.

A news release from the governor’s office says heavy rain caused significant flooding that triggered the declaration for Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Marion, Monongalia and Harrison counties. 

According to the release, state and county emergency officials are evacuating some of those areas affected and the West Virginia National Guard has been mobilized to aid and assist in any way.

A dispatcher with the Marion County Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management says the town of Mannington in Marion County is under water. Swift-water rescue operations are under way, with evacuees being taken to North Marion High School. 

Pamela Kay Buzzo, of Mannnington, says "If we get no more rain will be ok, but the damage of Mannington will be high. It flooded in places where I have not seen flooding since 1985."  Buzzo says she's heard from friends in the nearby town of Rachel that flooding is worse in that community.

Flooding near Rachel, W.Va.
Credit West Virginia Department of Transportation

  The National Weather Service reports that between 2 and 3.5 inches of rain has fallen over a flood warning area, including Morgantown, with many roads closed Saturday morning.

The service says rain is letting up but streams will flow over their banks through early afternoon.

The Wheeling Intelligencer and News-Register reports authorities recovered a body from the Ohio River they believe is a teenager missing in last weekend’s flooding.

Officials say Page Geller's body was found in the Ohio River on Saturday. Geller and 24-year-old Michael Grow were in a van on Sunday that rolled into a stream following heavy rains. Grow was pulled from the floodwaters and later died at a hospital. Ohio County Emergency Management Director Lou Vargo said authorities did not find Geller until early Saturday morning when heavy rains again caused flooding in the northern parts of the state.

No other fatalities or major injuries have been reported.

W.Va. A.G. Warns Against Price Gouging

West Virginia’s Attorney General is warning against price gouging after heavy rains caused flooding in the northern parts of the state.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Gov. Jim Justice’s decision to declare a state of emergency in six counties triggered laws against businesses or contractors raising prices more than 10 percent what it cost 10 days prior to the declaration. The law will remain in effect for 30 days or until the declaration is lifted, whichever is longer, with some exceptions.

Anyone who believes they have been the victim of price gouging should file a complaint with the attorney general’s office.

Morrisey said he is “very concerned” by the pictures, video and reports coming from the affected areas.

WVDOT update as of 10:30 a.m., Sunday, July 30:

With water receded in most areas, DOH crews are now able to assess damage to roadways and bridges. Maintenance crews will be focusing on clearing slides and downed trees.

Below are the routes that may remain closed, partially closed, or heavily damaged by high water. Those who live in the flood impacted areas are urged to use caution when traveling. Any major issues should be reported to your local county office of emergency management.

Doddridge County

·       CR 24, Kights Fork Road, road washed out

·       CR 24/3, Pinch Gut Hollow Road, road washed out

Harrison County

·       CR 8/2, Brice Road, one mile from Pine Bluff Road road washed out

Marion County

·       CR 60, Vinegar Hill closed

·       CR 60 near Bentons Ferry Bridge, slide still impacting roadway

·       CR 9/2 pipe washed out

Monongalia County

·       CR 51, Saltlick Road

·       CR 11,Wadestown Road

·       CR 14, Wadestown Road

·       CR 66/7, Kaintown Road

·       CR 52/7, Pleasantdale Road, slip in roadway

·       CR 39/1, Blacks Run

Ohio County

·       CR 25, Peters Run, from US 40 to Browns Run

Preston County

·       CR 106, Bucklick Road, closed due to culvert washout

·       CR 92/22, Eby

·       CR 59, Campground Road, washed out

Taylor County

·       CR 12, Tucker Run Road at MM 2.95, culvert washed out

·       CR 76 at MM 3.6

·       CR 73/73

Tucker County

·       CR 14, Lime Hollow Road, washed out

Wetzel County

·       WV 2 between North Fork and Fallen Timber