UPDATE: Swift water rescue teams on standby in McDowell County

SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA, WV – Per the directive from Governor Jim Justice, the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains at partial activation status.

Over the next 24 hours, the SEOC will continue to monitor flooded areas and maintain contact with local jurisdictions should any new hazards arise.

Agencies coordinating emergency response within the SEOC include Office of the Governor, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), Intelligence/Fusion Center, National Guard and Division of Highways (DOH), along with the state chapter of the Red Cross, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), and the National Weather Service.

As of 5 p.m., we have received updates from all counties affected by the hazardous conditions and the agencies represented at the state and local emergency operations centers.

  • McDowell County has declared a State of Emergency and suffered the greatest impact from today’s rainfall. Water continues to rise in the War and Coalwood areas and all schools will remain closed on Friday. The Tug River at Bradshaw should crest below moderate flood stage overnight. The McDowell County EOC will continue activation throughout this event.
  • In Raleigh County, Violet Street in Beaver was evacuated due to high water and runoff in roads and around homes. The access road to the Raleigh Center in Daniels washed out and residents are sheltering in place. The Center can be accessed by foot and a contractor is creating another access road.
  • Fayette and Greenbrier counties report localized flooding and some roads impassable due to high water.
  • Monroe, Summers and Wyoming counties report nuisance flooding but require no assistance.
  • The WV National Guard has initiated movement of two high water vehicles to

McDowell County and maintains coordination with DHSEM for any resource requests. Swift Water Rescue Teams are on standby for quick deployment.

  • The DOH reports many roads in the southern counties remain closed due to high water or mudslides. Please check www.wv511.org for road conditions.
  • The American Red Cross and VOAD are on standby at both state and local emergency operations centers and are prepared to provide shelter and assist with relief efforts as requested.
  • According to the National Weather Service, flooding will continue along creeks and streams in southern West Virginia. There will be some flooding along the Tug Fork and Bluestone Rivers, and notable rises along Guyandotte and New Rivers. Most rivers are predicted to crest tonight into Friday.

Rain will begin changing to snow across the state overnight and may impact the morning commute, especially in the mountainous areas and northern counties. There is a slight chance for higher snowfall with this system. Please continue to monitor weather updates for your area.

Portions of the state remain under a Flood Watch or a Winter Weather Advisory into Friday. Governor Justice urges citizens to monitor their local weather situation via television, radio, and news outlets, the National Weather Service, and by following WVDHSEM on social media. WVDHSEM will be posting updates as conditions develop to the WVDHSEM Facebook and Twitter pages at: https://www.facebook.com/WVDHSEM/ and https://twitter.com/WVDHSEM.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can Follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com