Emily Allen Published

Evacuations, Rescues Made In Southern W. Va As Governor Signs Emergency Proclamation


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

Gov. Jim Justice signed a proclamation Friday evening, declaring a state of emergency in seven southern counties hit hard by flooding this week.  


The move is meant to free up state-level resources for Fayette, Greenbrier, Logan, Mcdowell, Monroe, Raleigh and Wyoming counties, according to a press release from the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.  


A trailer park was evacuated in Mercer County along West Virginia Route 10. According to the DHSEM, the American Red Cross is still searching for a place to house the evacuees.  


The division reported there was one water rescue completed in Mercer for an individual who tried driving into the flood along West Virginia Route 19 after it had been closed. 


In Kanawha County, volunteers rescued another person who had tried driving through a flooded roadway.  


The West Virginia Division of Highways reported 45 road closures across nine southern counties as of Friday night.  


That included 10 closures in McDowell County, where on Thursday the county issued a local state of emergency to get help from the DHSEM and the West Virginia National Guard. 


Major road closures included West Virginia Route 10 to Spanishburg in Mercer and U.S. Route 52 at Crum in Wayne County. As waters rise at the Meadow and New rivers in Fayette County near the Gauley bridge, the DHSEM reported waters are reaching the nearby U.S. Route 60.  


Both the Meadow and New rivers have crested. The DHSEM reported that the flood wave continues to move down the Tug Fork and Big Sandy rivers going toward Kentucky. Backwater flooding will fill low-lying roads throughout the night.  


U.S. Interstate 64 is also still closed for bridge repairs near the town of Nitro.  


The West Virginia Department of Transportation is posting all road conditions on its website

DHSEM director, Mike Todorovich, plans to visit the seven-county area Saturday to report on the damage to Gov. Justice and the regional office of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  


The West Virginia National Guard was stationed outside of a local fire department in War, McDowell County, earlier today. Members remain active in the affected region. 


Emily Allen is a Report for America corps member.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said there was an state of emergency issued for six counties. The emergency was issued for seven counties, those being Fayette, Greenbrier, Logan, Mcdowell, Monroe, Raleigh and Wyoming.