UPDATE: Death toll lowered in West Virginia flooding - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

News Alert

UPDATE: Death toll lowered in West Virginia flooding

Updated:

Officials say that two people believed to have bee swept away by flood waters have bee found alive.

The following information was released by the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management:

-The WV State Medical Examiner’s Office has revised its number of deaths due to the floods DOWN to 23 (twenty-three). That total includes 20 confirmed fatalities and 3 people missing and presumed dead.

-This revision came after two people thought to have been swept away in a camper in Greenbrier County and had been presumed dead were found alive.

-Fatality totals by county include:

                -15   Greenbrier (12 confirmed, 3 missing and presumed dead)

                -6  Kanawha

                -1  Ohio

                -1  Jackson

FEMA

-At this time, individual FEMA assistance is available in Greenbrier, Kanawha and Nicholas counties. Work continues today on adding more counties, and an application for additional areas is expected to be filed this week.

-Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance today by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). 

  • Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
  • The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

-FEMA is working with WV to supplement distribution of food and water in the local affected communities.

Traffic

-The Department of Transportation and local law enforcement officers are reporting a great deal of unnecessary traffic in affected areas. People who do not NEED to be in a particular area are asked to avoid the area to allow cleanup efforts to continue as easily as possible.

Power

-9,294 residents still without power.

WV National Guard

-Guard has had 10 teams deployed in Kanawha, Greenbrier, Nicholas and Clay counties and had 470 troops on the ground over the weekend.

Red Cross

-Reporting 413 people in 17 shelters, 8 of these shelters were run by American Red Cross.

Counties

-Clay County reporting shortage of donations and seeking all items to be donated (cleaning supplies, water, pet supplies etc). WVDHSEM and other help are on the ground there. Donation station is set up at Clay Health Department.

-----

UPDATED AT 9 AM MONDAY

UPDATE: The death toll from heavy flooding in West Virginia has risen to twenty-five, according to officials.

-17 in Greenbrier County
- 6 in Kanawha County
- 1 in Ohio County
- 1 in Jackson County

The following information was released by the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management:

FEMA

-At this time, individual FEMA assistance is available in Greenbrier, Kanawha and Nicholas counties and work is continuing on adding more counties.

-Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). 

  • Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
  • The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

-An Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) has arrived to coordinate directly with the State of West Virginia and support requests for assistance;

14 PDA teams to conduct PDAs for both Public Assistance and Individual Assistance have arrived;

There are four trucks of meals and nine trucks of water enroute to FSA Yeager from DC Cumberland.

FEMA is assisting in the establishment of an Incident Support Base (ISB) with a C2 Mobile Command Center.

The first Disaster Recovery Center is planned to be open on Tuesday.  Details and confirmation will be forthcoming.

Region III’s Voluntary Agency Liaison and Disability Integration Specialist to work with and support voluntary agencies, communities, and individuals with access and functional needs;

Will work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist with public works and debris management;

Additional FEMA staff to assist with response and recovery operations, including Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams (DSATs) who will go into communities to assist individuals with registering for assistance.

-10,605 homes and businesses are still without power

Volunteer Agencies

WV Red Cross

-The American Red Cross has hundreds of disaster workers on the ground in multiple West Virginia communities helping the thousands of people impacted by devastating flooding. Red Cross workers from all over the state and country continue to support Red Cross shelters open throughout the affected areas of Fayette, Kanawha and Nicholas Counties. Relief supplies, clean-up kits, meals, snacks and water are in route to areas in Clay, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Nicholas, Roane, and Webster Counties. Teams are out assessing damages in both Kanawha and Roane County, with other communities to follow.

-To find open Red Cross shelters go to: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/disaster-relief-and-recovery/find-an-open-shelter

WV VOAD/Volunteer WV

-– From Monday, June 27 through July 15, 2016, Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (www.ITDRC.org) and VisionLink (www.VisionLink.org), are staffing and supporting a free hotline for debris removal and home cleanup after the recent floods affecting large parts of West Virginia and Virginia. This hotline will connect survivors with reputable and vetted relief agencies that will assist in mud-outs, debris removal, and cleaning up homes, as they are able. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to the overwhelming need.

 This hotline cannot assist with social services such as food, clothing, shelter, insurance, or questions about FEMA registration. For access to other community resources, survivors should call 2-1-1.

Survivors needing assistance with home cleanup may call: 1-800-451-1954 until July 15, 2016.

Pets

-The Kanawha -Charleston Humane Association has started receiving animals from flood victims. They have the capacity to handle up to 30 animals.  They are accepting animal feed, blankets, etc. The WV Dept. of Agriculture has loaned them 30 collapsible animal crates and bowls and additional crates are in stock.

-Preston County EMA humane officers have loaned the KCHA an animal response trailer which is capable of also housing animals.

-In Fayette County pet/animal/horse feed and supplies may be dropped off at the Nuttall School,  30930 Midland Trail, Mt Lookout, WV.

--------

UPDATED SATURDAY AT 11 AM

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's request for a Federal Disaster Declaration has been granted by President Barack Obama.for residents affected by flooding in Greenbrier, Kanawha, and Nicholas counties. The declaration with provide medical assistance, housing, and other immediate needs.

According to Tim Rock with the WV Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management:

  • There are three Red Cross shelters and four supported shelters currently open. Meals, cleaning supplies, comfort kits, water and other supplies are being distributed. Health services and mental health services are also being provided. Anyone who needs assistance or find an open shelter can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or www.redcross.org
  • WV VOAD damage assessment teams will begin Friday and cleanup teams will begin on Monday
  • WV VOAD is sending cleanup kits, water and cleaning supplies to county emergency managers for them to distribute to their community
  • WV VOAD is setting up volunteer centers in Greenbrier, Nicholas, Fayette, Kanawha and Webster counties
  • The Council of Churches, Salvation Army and Red Cross are sending pastoral teams to affected counties
  • The Southern Baptist organization has set up a feeding station in Greenbrier and will be going Friday to Nicholas and Kanawha
  • West Virginia State Parks are offering discounted room rates to those affected and displaced by recent flooding. If you or someone you know is in need of lodging, please call your local park. To view a full park directory, visit: bit.ly/28VsKEY

Alderson Mayor Travis Copenhaver has issued a curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice. 

Those wishing aide in the relief efforts by volunteering can register at the link: http://www.volunteerwv.org/2/index.cfm Registered volunteers will have identifying wristbands.

The Greenbirer Resort has opened its doors to provide shelter to flood victims. 

The Greenbrier is offering a limited number of guest rooms and meals to those who have been impacted by the flood waters and have no other place to stay. The rooms are being offered to anyone who does not have a place to sleep during this tragedy and will be available as long as The Greenbrier is closed for business. These rooms will be offered on a complimentary basis and on a first-come, first served basis.--The Greenbrier Resort

"We just hope that by providing a good meal and a comfortable and safe place to spend the night that we can help ease the pain just a little to those who are suffering so much from this unbelievable disaster," says owner Jim Justice.

You must meet eligibility requirements to stay at the famed hotel. Call The Greenbrier's Emergency Housing Hotline at 304-536-1110.

The following water systems are under boil water advisory in Greenbrier County: Lewisburg, Alderson, Rupert, Rainelle and White Sulphur Springs. Water should be brought to a full rolling boil for at least one minute prior to use for drinking, cooking, food preparation or hygienic purposes.

A Facebook page has been set up to help families locate their missing loved ones.

.

----------

UPDATE 6/24/2016

According to Tim Rock, with the West Virginia Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, as of 9:00 a.m. Saturday there are still 32,000 homes and businesses without power. He says Over 60 secondary roads remain closed. US 60 and US 119 are closed in multiple locations.

Those wishing aide in the relief efforts by volunteering can register at the link: http://www.volunteerwv.org/2/index.cfm Registered volunteers will have identifying wristbands.

There are many local businesses and church organizations c collecting much needed supplies. The WV Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is urging people to donate monetary funds through the United Methodist Foundation of West Virginia.

------

SLIDESHOW: Flood damage across the Two Virginias

Flood clean-up precautions to reduce illness

Food safety reminders following flooding

-----

UPDATE: Friday at 8:00 p.m.

The death toll from heavy flooding in West Virginia has risen to twenty.

Tim Rock, with the West Virginia Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, tells WVVA that fifteen Ron people perished in Greenbrier County, three in Kanawha County, one in Jackson County and one in Ohio County.

According to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, the hardest hit areas include Greenbrier, Kanawha, Nicholas, and Webster counties. However, the damage is widespread. More than 100 homes have been destroyed or suffered extensive damage.

Our focus remains on search and rescue.-Gov. Tomblin

More than 200 West Virginia National Guard members in eight counties are conducting search and rescue operations. Tomblin says first responders have "risked their own lives" to save people trapped in vehicles or stuck on rooftops.

There are currently 60 road closures caused by the storms. Highway crews are now working to construct a road to rescue people stranded in a shopping center in Elkview, WV.

Tomblin says the biggest challenge is high water. Weather has also been a hindrance for aviation efforts  There are 66,000 people without power as of 2:30 p.m. Friday. Natural gas service has been shut off in White Sulphur Springs and Caldwell.  Utility companies are working around the clock to restore service.

Luckily no hospitals have been effected by the flooding. However, Tomblin says several nursing home were impacted. Employees with the Dept. of Health and Human Service are working to help affected residents.

There are currently 17 shelters open. Gov. Tomblin urges anyone who needs assistance to contact their local office of emergency management. Click here for contact information in your county. The American Red Cross and West Virginia VOAD( Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) are in the process of collecting needed donations to help displaced residents.

SLIDESHOW: Flood damage across the Two Virginias

The flood waters have absolutely devastated 44 counties throughout West Virginia and Gayle and I are sending our prayers to the family and friends of those who we have lost, those missing and everyone impacted by this tragedy. I have toured the damage left by the flood waters in Elkview, Clendenin and surrounding areas and am working with Governor Tomblin, the entire West Virginia Delegation and the White House on assisting those affected. I urge all West Virginians to listen to local advisories, to stay safe and to contact my office at 304-342-5855 with concerns. If you need assistance, and if you are elderly, disabled or ill and cannot access water, please call the Emergency Operations Center at 304-746-8828.-U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin

UPDATE: West Virginia road closure report

--------

By JONATHAN MATTISE
Associated Press

A storm system dumped 9 inches of rain on parts of West Virginia, trapping 500 people in a shopping center when a bridge washed out, and dozens of other people had to be plucked off rooftops or rescued as waters quickly rose during the deluge.

At least seven people died, including an 8-year-old boy and a 4-year-old boy who were swept away in different counties, authorities said Friday. The death toll was expected to increase, said Greenbrier County Sheriff Jan Cahill, who described "complete chaos" in his county, which appeared to be the hardest hit.

"Roads destroyed, bridges out, homes burned down, washed off foundations," he said. "Multiple sections of highway just missing. Pavement just peeled off like a banana. I've never seen anything like that."

Water rescue teams were searching devastated areas.

"Today's just an accountability mission, trying to verify where everybody's at and follow up on missing person tips," he said. "It's really hard to navigate around because there's just a ton of debris. We've even had rescuers that had to be rescued."

The rains submerged homes and cars in dirty brown water and chewed up roads. Tens of thousands of people were without power at the peak of the storm.

Some areas are "probably looking at flooding that's going to be the worst in 100 years," Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's spokesman Chris Stadelman said.

Eric Blackshire was one of the stranded at Crossings Mall, a mix of restaurants, stores and a hotel in Elkview, which is about 15 miles northeast of Charleston. Some had to sleep in their cars or at businesses overnight. Blackshire opted for a hotel room.

"It was kind of like a hurricane party. I guess you could call it a flood party. There were lots of beers being drank last night," he told The Associated Press.

He was able to get to safety Friday when Pinch Volunteer Fire Department firefighters used a rope to guide people down a hillside. About 50 people had been rescued so far.

Kanawha County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Brian Humphreys said a better solution was needed: "That's going to require, I think, some engineering efforts" - perhaps a temporary bridge.

An area near the West Virginia-Virginia border received at least 9 inches of rain while other parts of the state had 3 to 5 inches, National Weather Service hydrologist John Sikora said. While most of the rain had tapered off Friday, there were still scattered showers, thunderstorms and river flood warnings.

Kanawha County officials reported at least 70 water rescues.

"We had swift water rescue teams out until late last night and back out again this morning literally rescuing people from rooftops and upper stories of houses," the governor's spokesman said.

The heaviest rainfall was in Greenbrier County. At The Greenbrier, a luxury resort nestled in the mountains, the golf course was overrun by rushing waters. The course is scheduled to host a PGA tour event, The Greenbrier Classic, from July 4-10.

"It's like nothing I've seen," owner Jim Justice said in a statement. "But our focus right now isn't on the property, golf course or anything else. We're praying for the people and doing everything we can to get them the help they need."

Professional golfer Bubba Watson was apparently visiting the resort and tweeted photos of entire holes underwater: "Prayers for @The_Greenbrier & surrounding areas. We are without power & it's still raining. Never seen this much rain! #WestVirginiaBeSafe."

The governor issued a state of emergency on Thursday for 44 counties in the state.

"I have authorized the deployment of up to 150 members of the West Virginia National Guard to assist local emergency responders as we continue to evaluate the situation today," he said in a statement Friday.

Three people died in Kanawha County, two in Greenbrier County, and one each in Jackson and Ohio counties.

The body of 8-year-old Emanual Williams - known as "Manny" - was recovered after he fell into Big Wheeling Creek on Thursday, said Harry Croft, pastor at Marwin Church of the Nazarene at Wheeling.

Croft said the mother told him that she was walking across the creek with her son and daughter because Manny wanted to catch crawdads. One of the children slipped and the mother grabbed both the boy and his sister in the swift current.

"She lost her grip on Manny," the pastor said.

The 4-year-old boy was found about a quarter mile from where he fell into a creek, which usually runs about ankle deep but rose to about 6 feet deep when Jackson County was pounded with 9 inches of rain in 16 hours.

Bob Bibbee with the Ravenswood Fire Department said the boy was outside with his grandfather, who jumped in after the boy but the water was rushing too quickly. Neighbors, alerted by the sound of the family's screams, tried to help save the boy but were also unable to reach him.

Across the state line, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in Alleghany County and Covington. Three emergency workers were injured during a water rescue in Alleghany County, officials said.

----

The body of a 4-year-old boy who slipped into a rushing creek during a flood that devastated West Virginia was found Friday morning, raising the flood's death toll to five.

Bob Bibbee with the Ravenswood Fire Department confirmed the boy was found dead at 11:30 a.m. about a quarter mile from where he fell.

Bibbee said the toddler was outside with his grandfather when he fell into the creek, which usually runs about an ankle deep. Jackson County was pounded with 9 inches of rain in 16 hours and the creek rose to about 6 feet.

The grandfather jumped in after the boy to try to pull him out but the water was rushing too quickly. Neighbors, alerted by the sound of the family's screams, tried to help save the boy but were also unable to reach him.

Dozens of rescuers from four counties searched until dusk Thursday night and resumed Friday morning.

-----

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia official says there are four confirmed fatalities from flooding that has devastated parts of the state.

Chris Stadelman, who's Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's communications director, said Friday morning that three people died in Kanawha County and a fourth died in Wheeling. He didn't have details and said the numbers don't include a young boy who crews have been looking for after he was swept away by swift water Thursday in Jackson County.

Storms with heavy rain rolled into West Virginia early Thursday and continued throughout the day leaving thousands without power and several roads impassable from high water.

Stadelman said Friday morning that some areas were "devastated." He said the hardest hit counties included Greenbrier, Nicholas, Fayette, Kanawha and Webster.

Powered by Frankly