Jun 27, 2016

At least 26 dead as historic floods sweep West Virginia

West Virginia
USA
by
Doug Stanglin and Doyle Rice
,
USA Today
In this photo released by the The Weather Channel, a vehicle ends up in a stream after a heavy rain near White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., on June 24, 2016. Photo: Chris Dorst, The Weather Channel via AP
In this photo released by the The Weather Channel, a vehicle ends up in a stream after a heavy rain near White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., on June 24, 2016. Photo: Chris Dorst, The Weather Channel via AP

The bodies of three more victims of West Virginia's historic flooding were found overnight Saturday, according to county authorities, raising the death toll to 26 from torrential rains and high water that has destroyed more than 100 homes, washed out scores of roads and bridges and knocked out power to tens of thousands of people.

On Saturday, President Obama declared a major disaster for West Virginia and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the counties of Greenbrier, Kanawha and Nicholas...

It was the third-deadliest flood on record in West Virginia, according to the West Virginia state climatologist Kevin Law. Only the Buffalo Creek flood in 1972 (when 125 died after a dam break) and a November 1985 flood (when 38 died from a combination of Hurricane Juan's remnants and another storm) killed more in the state, Law said.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin told reporters Friday that damage is widespread and devastating. Saying search and rescue missions are still a top priority, Tomblin issued a state of emergency for 44 counties and deployed 150 members of the National Guard to help emergency responders.

He called the flooding "among the worst in a century" for some parts of West Virginia