Multiple fatalities in ‘devastating’ floods across W. Virginia

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CHARLESTON, W.Va — At least four people are dead after floodwaters ravaged West Virginia on Thursday, ABC reports.

Three people are confirmed dead in Kanawha County, along with one in the City of Wheeling. Further details were unavailable, and the numbers do not include a toddler that was swept away in Jackson County, said Chris Stadelman, communications director for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. He went on to say that some parts of the state were “probably looking at flooding that’s going to be the worst in 100 years.”

A state of emergency was issued on Thursday for 44 counties in the state. Gov. Tomblin said in a statement on Friday that the Emergency Operations Center had worked throughout the night and was continuing to coordinate with local officials.

“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.

The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office released a statement informing residents to remain off of the roads except in the case of an emergency. The Sheriff’s Office warned drivers not to travel through high water. “Due to the widespread flooding through the county, there are many road closures. Travel throughout the county will be very dangerous today,” it said.

Virginia also suffered from flooding after severe weather struck, prompting Gov. Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency for Alleghany County and the City of Covington.

One emergency worker was injured after falling into the water during a rescue in Alleghany County on Thursday night. The worker was in critical but stable condition, according to Botetourt County Battalion Chief Andrew Moore. Two other workers were hurt while rescuing their colleague, but suffered only minor injuries and were released from the hospital, Moore confirmed.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has warned that over a dozen Alleghany County roads were closed due to the flooding as of Friday morning, in addition to reports of downed trees and utility lines. Dominion Power has reported that around 1,700 people are without power statewide.

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