Gov. Justice declares state of emergency for WV counties hit by flash flooding

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WHSV) — Following severe flash flooding, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has declared a State of Emergency for five West Virginia counties.

Photo submitted to WHSV by Jean

Justice issued a declaration on Sunday afternoon, but the official action was filed on Monday morning.

It covers Grant, Pendleton, Preston, Tucker, and Randolph Counties, each of which was hit hard by heavy rains Saturday night.

Strong storms impacted the area late Saturday night and overnight into Sunday morning, staying nearly stationary for several hours. Radar estimated rainfall totals in some areas were up to 4.50 inches.

High water and mudslides forces several roads to be closed, including four-lane U.S. Route 33.

According to The Inter-Mountain of Elkins, the Randolph County Commission said in a statement that the flooding knocked homes off their foundations in the Harman, Job and Whitmer area of the state. It added that volunteer fire departments and swift boat rescue crews were sent to assist residents.

There were no immediate reports of any deaths or injuries.

Gov. Justice authorized Mike Todorvich, the director of the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the state's National Guard to assist with cleanup and repairs in the affected counties.

Below is the full text of the declaration:

By the Governor
WHEREAS, heavy rainfall beginning on the twenty-ninth day of June, Two Thousand Nineteen, brought significant rainfall to Grant, Pendleton, Preston, Randolph and Tucker Counties, West Virginia; and
WHEREAS, this heavy rainfall has caused significant local flooding, and has damaged homes, businesses, roads, and bridges in Grant, Pendleton, Preston, Randolph and Tucker Counties; and
WHEREAS, certain portions of these counties have been rendered inaccessible because of public infrastructure damage; and
NOW, THEREFORE, T, JIM JUSTICE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of West Virginia, and in view of the foregoing, do hereby FIND AND DECLARE that a State of Emergency exists in Grant, Pendleton, Preston, Randolph and Tucker Counties of West Virginia, said State of Emergency to remain in effect for thirty days unless tenninated by subsequent Proclamation. In response to this State of Emergency, I have INVOKED the emergency powers set forth in section six, article five, chapter fifteen of the Code of West Virginia; UTILIZED the Emergency Operations Plan, as necessary; ORDERED appropriate personnel and resources to mobilize and respond to the emergency; and DELEGATED certain administrative powers to the Director of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, as necessary, to facilitate the provision of essential emergency services.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of West Virginia to be affixed.
DONE at the Capitol, in the City of Charleston, State of West Virginia, this the thirtieth day of June, in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand Nineteen, in the One Hundred Fifty-Sixth year of the State.

If you are looking for ways to help victims of the flooding, the Senior Center in Harman (at Harman Nutrition Site 20 Water St., Harman, WV 26270)is collecting donations of diapers, baby wipes, gallon and quart-sized Ziploc bags, and plastic utensils. The Harman Volunteer Fire Department is taking donations of cleaning supplies. Neither is accepting financial donations at this time.

Photo submitted to WHSV by Kimberly Bowers
Photo submitted to WHSV by Kimberly Bowers
Photo submitted to WHSV by Sam