Flooding

Wwkayaker22 / en.wikipedia.org

Officials have released the identity of a kayaker who went missing along the banks of the Middle Fork River in West Virginia last Sunday. Officials with the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety say Jamie L. Gray, 41, of Hacker Valley is presumed drowned after going missing on Feb. 9. The agency is closing access to the Middle Fork River between Audra State Park in Barbour County and Tygart Valley River to bring in equipment to assist with the recovery of Gray. Officials say Gray was kayaking with a group of nine fellow paddlers in river last week.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Flooding in the past week has once again consumed much of southern West Virginia, with Gov. Jim Justice signing a state of emergency proclamation for seven counties on Friday. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, West Virginia has long been known for its apple production. But apple farmers are struggling and orchards are disappearing.

NOAA

West Virginia emergency leaders reported Friday evening there have been two water rescues and one trailer park evacuation in southern West Virginia.  

SYDNEY BOLES/ OHIO VALLEY RESOURCE

Heavy rains caused extensive flooding across eastern Kentucky this week, and city and county officials say it could take weeks to fix some of the damage.


NOAA

Flood waters in southern West Virginia are lower than they were yesterday and road conditions are improving, but emergency management officials say they are still monitoring the situation and remain active in the region. 

Flood Map 2020-02-06
NOAA

Update 2/6/20 8:34 p.m.:

 

Rainfall across the southern part of West Virginia has led to multiple road closures, and at least one community in Raleigh County has been evacuated. 

According to a press release from the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, McDowell and Raleigh counties are reporting the most serious impact from Thursday’s rainfall.

The aftermath of flooding that occured in June 2016, in Clendenin, W.Va.
Kara Lofton / WVPB file photo

As several southern West Virginia counties prepare for heavy rainfall and flash flooding Wednesday night, the governor is already calling emergency responders to action.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we have a story about communities along the Ohio River who want to remove some old dams, and we’ll move downstream to discuss flooding.

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Jim Casto stands up against the tiled river height gauge along the entrance of the floodwall in Huntington, West Virginia.
Liam Niemeyer / Ohio Valley ReSource

When 78-year-old Jim Casto looks at the towering floodwalls that line downtown Huntington, West Virginia, he sees a dark history of generations past. 

The longtime journalist and local historian is short in stature, yet tall in neighborhood tales. On Casto’s hand shines a solid gold ring, signifying his more than 40 years of reporting at the local paper. “It was a lot cheaper to give me a ring than to give me a pay raise,” he said with a chuckle.

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Oct 28, 2019
Illustration by Joanna Eberts / CPI

Editor’s Note: This story is part of a series about the insufficient protections for vulnerable people as natural disasters worsen in a warming climate. The Center for Public Integrity and four partners – the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, High Country News, Ohio Valley ReSource and StateImpact Oklahoma – are contributing stories.

Todd Bentley stepped onto his porch and saw the storm swelling the creek near his home. If this kept up all night, he feared, the creek could overflow its banks and wash out his neighborhood’s road. He headed out into the rain with his teenage son to secure his mother’s trailer across the street.

The U.S. Small Business Administration says small businesses in three West Virginia counties are eligible for economic injury disaster loans as a result of excessive rain and flooding earlier this year.

The agency said Brooke, Hancock and Ohio counties in the Northern Panhandle are eligible because they’re contiguous to one or more primary counties in Ohio. The loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations.

Bridge and construction equipment underwater on River Road in northeastern Morgan County. Sleepy Creek is backed up where it runs into the Potomac River. Photo taken on June 4, 2018.
The Morgan Messenger / Courtesy Photo

Some small businesses in two West Virginia counties are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans as a result of storms last year.

Google MyMaps

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Sunday, June 30, he will declare a state of emergency for a handful of northeastern counties after severe thunderstorms on Saturday caused flash flooding, knocking homes off their foundations and washing out roads. 

 

Steve Herber / Associated Press

A disaster relief package that would send more than $100 million to West Virginia is on its way to the president’s desk.

The aftermath of flooding that occured in June 2016, in Clendenin, W.Va.
Kara Lofton / WVPB file photo

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging West Virginians to prepare for flooding this spring.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has designated March 18-22 as Severe Weather Awareness Week. FEMA says properties along waterways like the Elk River in Charleston are especially at risk.

Steve Herber / Associated Press

As rainfall from Hurricane Florence makes its way into West Virginia, Major Nate King with the West Virginia National Guard said the agency is monitoring the risk of flash flooding across the state over the next two days. 2-3 inches of rain is forcasted in the high mountains, and 1-2 inches is forecasted for much of the state, King said.

In this Saturday, June 25, 2016 file photo, Lt. Dennis Feazell, of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, watches for debris as he and a co-worker search flooded homes in Rainelle, W.Va.
Steve Helber / AP file photo

Hours inland from the U.S. East Coast in mountain communities and narrow river valleys of Appalachia, angst is building with the approach of Hurricane Florence.

A series of thunderstorms pelted a wide swath of West Virginia two years ago. Nine inches of rain fell in 36 hours in some areas in June 2016, leaving 23 dead statewide and destroying thousands of homes, businesses and infrastructure.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Both the Northern and Eastern Panhandles are experiencing flooding this week as rain continues to fall on the two regions. Preparations are also being made across the state to respond to possible heavy rainfall from Hurricane Florence at the end of the week.

Berkeley Springs State Park. Photo taken on June 3, 2018.
Robert Madison / Courtesy Photo

President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration in West Virginia after flooding, mudslides and high winds ravaged parts of the state.

Town of Berkeley Springs, Morgan County looking south; CNB Bank (left) and The Country Inn (right). Photo taken on June 3, 2018.
Robert Madison / Courtesy Photo

Updated on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 1:45 p.m.

Governor Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for a handful of counties in the Eastern Panhandle this weekend due to flooding from heavy rainfall.

Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, and Pendleton counties are under the state of emergency

The Opequon Creek that borders Berkeley and Jefferson Counties has completely flooded a bridge in Martinsburg near Grapevine Road. Photo taken on May 17, 2018 at 7:22 p.m.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

 

Final Update on Monday, May 21, 2018 at 3:17 p.m.

 

After several days of continuous rainfall, the Eastern Panhandle is no longer under a flood warning or flood watch by the National Weather Service.


Ten West Virginia counties are under a State of Emergency due to flooding caused by heavy rainfall.

Governor Jim Justice made the declaration in an emailed statement to reporters Monday afternoon.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we visit communities impacted by creation of flood-control lakes. In one, the Village of Lilly, about 40 families were pushed off their land along the Bluestone River in Summers County, W.Va., in the 1940s. Many of these families had lived there for more than 200 years. 


The National Weather Service issued flood watches Saturday for the Ohio River Valley and nothern West Virginia.
National Weather Service

With the National Weather Service forecasting rain through the weekend, Gov. Jim Justice has directed state emergency officials and the West Virginia National Guard to prepare for potential widespread flooding.

Adobe Stock

Updated 2:50 p.m. Feb. 19th:

20 counties across West Virginia have been included in a West Virginia Department of Transportation report issued Monday warning drivers about roads that are closed due to high water.

File photo: Deckers Creek runs over a bridge June 23, 2017, in Morgantown, W.Va.
Jesse Wright / WVPB file photo

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency early Saturday for all 55 counties.

According to a news release from the governor, heavy rain triggered flooding in multiple locations and is expected to continue throughout the weekend.

Steve Herber / Associated Press

A West Virginia legislative committee dedicated to flooding has been warned the state needs a more comprehensive way to fund stream gauges, which provide data needed to help warn residents of impending high waters.

USDA/ Daniel Boone National Forest

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we visit communities impacted by creation of flood-control lakes. Like the Village of Lilly, where back in the 1940s, about 40 families were pushed off their land along the Bluestone River in Summers County, West Virginia. Many of these families had lived there for more than 200 years. 

Inside Appalachia Host Jessica Lilly has deep roots to this community, as we hear in this episode. 

photos by Kara Lofton, illustration by Jesse Wright

Harvey. Irma. Maria. The hurricane season’s super-charged storms have highlighted the importance of disaster planning, and the aftermath offers a fresh lesson in just how long and difficult recovery can be.

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