Emergency efforts continue in WV after devastating floods, federal funds to help

Floodwaters threaten property in Clio in Roane County. State emergency officials say search and rescue efforts continue in West Virginia after the massive flooding that occurred. (Kathy Payne Abshire)

Search and rescue teams are still combing areas in West Virginia for evacuations and residents in need after devastating floods left a patch of destruction and killed at least 23 people.

The West Virginia National Guard has operational areas in Greenbrier, Nicholas and Kanawha counties and is covering eight counties, according to a news release from the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Twenty-three fatalities have been confirmed - 15 in Greenbrier County, six in Kanawha County, one in Ohio County and one in Jackson County.

Meanwhile, more than 32,000 customers are without power and more than 60 secondary roads remain closed. U.S. 60 and U.S. 119 are closed in multiple locations.

FEMA teams are expected to arrive Saturday to begin damage assessments. In Roane County alone, an estimated 50 homes severely damaged or destroyed.

Senator Joe Manchin announced on his Facebook page Saturday afternoon that President Obama has issued a major disaster declariation for West Virginia, which will allow the use of federal funds to help individuals and communities in the recovery effort.

Residents are still reeling from the floods that hit the Mountain State. State emergency officials said Kanawha County is sheltering 81 displaced people at Capital High School. The Clay/Roane water plant is still flooded, and water has been requested to be brought in for residents.

In Nicholas County, crews are trying to get power restored, cleaning up roads and have set up feeding stations in Richwood and Birch River.

The widespread flood is prompting a need for volunteers. Volunteer WV has set up a link for all volunteers to register if they want to help: All volunteers who have officially been registered through Volunteer WV will be wearing identifiable wristbands.

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