At-least 7 people, including a 4-year old toddler is dead, after West Virginia got pounded by severe storms on Thursday night.
Thousands of residents were left without any power and several roads became inaccessible following the heavy rainfall, according to city officials. The counties which suffered the most are Webster, Nicholas, Kanawha and Greenbrier.
“Just high water everywhere. People can’t get out; they can’t get in,” stated one of the local victims.
A state of emergency was officially declared on Thursday for 44 of the 55 counties in the state. The Governor have also authorized the deployment of 150 West Virginia National Guard to deal with the local emergency.
What made the West Virginia floods even more tragic is the death of the 4-year old Edward McMillion, after officials confirmed that his body was found early Friday. The toddler had disappeared in the rising waters in Ravenswood, Jackson County which is nested along the Ohio River right on the Ohio border.
Among the other deaths, 3 had occurred in Kanawha County and 1 in Ohio County according to the Governor’s office. Although the officials have not disclosed the identities of the victims yet, one the victims in Ohio County was an 8-year old who had slipped into a creek and was carried away in the flowing waters. He later died at a hospital, according to the Intelligencer.
“It’s really bad. There’s a raging river,” stated Alleghany County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Bowser. “There’s 500-gallon oil tanks and trash cans and gas cans and tree trunks floating down the river where people’s backyards are. You can see people in the second-story windows waiting to be evacuated.”
Record floods were actually forecasted on Thursday along the Jackson River in the region of Covington and Alleghany County. The D.E.M (State Department of Emergency Management) have requested residents of those affected areas to prepare to evacuate on an extremely short notice.
“There’s been a ton of areas that have been hit hard” by almost 7 inches of rain, commented Danielle Banks, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.