CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – With West Virginia being hit this past week, with more severe weather and flooding, Governor Jim Justice has now declared a state of emergency in 18 counties, mostly in southern and western West Virginia, especially in the Kanawha Valley region.
Those counties under the state of emergency include Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Clay, Greenbrier, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Randolph, Roane, Upshur, and Wayne. counties.
“We’re already on this in every way. We’re providing services from the Guard, and our emergency management people…We are asking President Biden to declare these counties as disaster counties,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
The governor says help is on the way for everything from clearing blocked streets to restoring power where needed. The state is also trying to get more COVID-19 testing and vaccinations to areas cut off by flood waters.
“We are seeing are some challenges in those 18 counties. We had some counties that were still dealing with the ice storm piece. Their emergency Management teams and their health departments have to now respond to multiple issues,” said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer (Ret.), Joint Inter-Agency Vaccine Task Force.
Still of concern, are flood levels on the state’s major rivers, especially the Ohio.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the Ohio River, you know at flood stages like we’re talking about,” said Justice.
By asking for a federal disaster declaration from President Biden in these 18 counties, the counties could be eligible for more financial assistance from Washington, as well as help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.