Emergency efforts continue in West Virginia after devastating floods
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) - Search and rescue teams are still combing areas in West Virginia for evacuees and residents in need after devastating floods left a path of destruction and killed at least 23 people.
The West Virginia National Guard has operational areas in Greenbrier, Nicholas and Kanawha counties and is covering eight counties, according to a news release from the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Twenty-three fatalities have been confirmed -- 15 in Greenbrier County, six in Kanawha County, one in Ohio County and one in Jackson County.
Meanwhile, more than 32,000 customers are without power and more than 60 secondary roads remain closed. U.S. 60 and U.S. 119 are closed in multiple locations.
FEMA teams are expected to arrive Saturday to begin damage assessments. In Roane County alone, an estimated 50 homes are severely damaged or destroyed.
Residents are still reeling from the floods that hit the Mountain State. State emergency officials said Kanawha County is sheltering 81 displaced people at Capital High School. The Clay/Roane water plant is still flooded, and water has been requested to be brought in for residents.
In Nicholas County, crews are trying to get power restored, cleaning up roads, and have set up feeding stations in Richwood and Birch River.
The widespread flood is prompting a need for volunteers. Volunteer West Virginia has set up a link for all volunteers to register if they want to help: http://www.volunteerwv.org/2/index.cfm. All volunteers who have officially been registered through Volunteer West Virginia will be wearing identifiable wristbands.