CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP/WOWK) –
UPDATE (6/30/19 7:55 PM):
At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday Governor Jim Justice declared a State of Emergency for Grant, Pendleton, Tucker, and Randolph Counties after they were hit with heavy rain and flash flooding Saturday night. The Governor said other counties may be added as necessary.
According to the Governor’s office he will officially file the declaration on Monday, but has verbally stated his intent.
The Governor has authorized West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Mike Todorovich to support the counties and to use all state resources necessary. The Governor also directed the West Virginia National Guard to assist.
Severe thunderstorms have caused flash flooding in several mountainous counties of West Virginia, and some state lawmakers are asking Gov. Jim Justice to declare a state of emergency.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for portions of northern and eastern West Virginia after at least 2 inches of rain fell quickly Saturday night. High water and mudslides forces several roads to be closed, including four-lane U.S. Route 33, also known as Corridor H.
In a letter Sunday afternoon, senators and delegates representing Pendleton, Preston, Randolph and Tucker counties asking Justice to respond quickly to the flooding. An emergency declaration would allow counties to use state resources to respond to flood-hit areas.
“We are all grateful for the response we’ve seen from the state agencies so far, but as we all know, the process has just begun,” Senator Boso said. “With time of the essence, we are calling on the Governor to promptly respond to this devastating flooding and declare a State of Emergency for these affected areas so we can fully mobilize all state and federal resources available to help.”
Upshur County Republican Sen. Bill Hamilton says it’s apparent the damage is extensive, including destroyed roads and bridges, and damage to homes, schools, farms and businesses.
“Although it is too early to get a true picture of all the damage and the estimated cost of repairs, it is apparent that it is extensive,” Senator Hamilton said. “Roads and bridges destroyed, homes, schools, farms and businesses damaged. We respectfully request that Governor Justice declare an emergency so we can get help and funds for the people of these counties as soon as possible.”