USA – Emergency Declared After Deadly Flash Floods in West Virginia

The Governor of West Virginia, USA, declared a state of emergency for 3 counties affected by heavy rain and flooding from 06 May 2022.

Floods in the City of Huntington, WV, May 2022. Photo: City of Huntington, WV

Governor Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for Cabell, Putnam, and Roane counties on 07 May 2022. The previous day the governor had declared a state of preparedness for all 55 counties.

National Weather Service in Charleston said rain gauge reports indicated over 3.50 inches / 88.9 mm of rain fell in Ona in Cabell County on 06 May 2022.

West Virginia Emergency Management said a farmer died after being swept away by flood waters in Cabell County. No other injuries or fatalities have been reported, as of 08 May 2022.

Communities in the city of Huntington, Cabell County, have been particularly badly affected. Mayor of the city, Steve Williams, reported severe damage to public and private property as well as a disruption of utility services. The city declared a local state of emergency on 06 May. In a statement, the Mayor said, “This is a critical step to ensure that recovery and funding resources are delivered quickly. It also is a vital step in raising public awareness about the severity of this unprecedented flood event, which has resulted in several inches of rain during a short period of time.” As of 07 May clean up operations had begun and 250 cleaning kits distributed to affected residents.

Severe flooding was also reported in Spencer in Roane County, where homes were damaged.

Further north levels along the Potomac River in Maryland have increased and are at minor to moderate flood stage in some areas, according to National Weather Service figures.

In Pennsylvania, heavy rain reportedly caused a landslide in the Spring Garden neighbourhood of Pittsburgh. The landslide crashed into a gas station below, causing concern for emergency responders.

Levels of the Potomac River at Edwards Ferry, Maryland, USA, May 2022. Image: NWS

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