West Virginia under state of emergency in Ida’s aftermath


SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia Governor Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for all 55 counties as the remnants of Hurricane Ida are poised to graze the Mountain State overnight.

In South Charleston, the last crew was checking the 21 storm gates in the area at 11 p.m.

South Charleston public works director Gerald Burgy says they have been working on them for days ahead, clearing them of debris and leaves.

Burgy says another area of concern is the underpasses, like the one at Rock Lake Drive.

“I’ve seen the underpass have 12, 13 feet of water in it,” he said.

2-to-4 inches of rainfall are expected Wednesday.

The City’s engineer Steve Debarr says they’ve left a trash pump out near the underpass, in case the nearby creek overflows.

Another pump was left in front of the South Charleston Community Center which flooded back in March after heavy rainfall.

Officials say they hope the rain doesn’t come down rapidly.

“You look at this event and it has great potential to property and loss of life,” said Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper.

In Kanawha County, says Carper, teams are on standby.

Areas like Cross Lanes, Alum Creek, and Saint Albans are most vulnerable, but anything is possible, he says.

“We’ve had terrible floods in Charleston, it happens in cities like Saint Albans, it certainly devastated Clendenin, so it’s where it is, just be aware, stay situationally aware.”

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