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West Virginia Governor says 14 people have died in flooding


High water submerged Interstate 79 in Kanawha County near the town of Clendenin

Amtrak is showing a service disruption on its Cardinal Route, which serves Staunton. Travelers who planned to use the train today should contact Amtrak, which often provides buses when trains can not run.

A viral video from White Sulphur Spring, W.Va., shows a burning house flowing down an overflowing river.

“This was incredibly quick, this flooding”, Scott Finn from West Virginia Public Broadcasting tells our Newscast unit. Electric utilities initially reported that nearly 500,000 customers were without power, although that number dropped to 60,000 by Friday afternoon.

Stadelman said at least 100 homes were destroyed. About 4 inches was reported in the Dunlap Creek area near Covington in Alleghany County. Among those killed were a 4-year-old swept away by high water and a woman trapped in a vehicle.

“There have been towns that have been completely surrounded by water”, Mr Rock said.

The desperate search for a 4-year-old boy who was swept away by floodwaters in West Virginia is expected to resume Friday as the unsafe weather has already claimed the lives of two others.

Flooding in West Virginia (US) killed 14 people and stranded others who had to be plucked from rooftops and rescued from fast-moving waters, the governor said on Saturday.

The northern and eastern panhandles are included in the declaration.

He said the deaths included 10 in Greenbrier County, three in Kanawha County, and one in Ohio County.

Elkview, Clendenin and Frame were hit the hardest by the flooding, officials said.

(West Virginia Dept. of Transport/via Twitter) Heavy rain in West Virginia led to the destructive flooding.

“We surely need your prayers, because there’s a lot of people hurting right now”, Greenbrier Resort owner Jim Justice told The Weather Channel.

Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency in 44 of 54 counties, authorizing up to 500 soldiers to conduct searches and rescues of those trapped by the horrific flooding.

The tiny town of Rainelle in Greenbrier County in the southeastern part of the state took the brunt of the devastation. “Initial reports from local officials indicate at least six counties have seen extensive structural damage”, the governor’s office said.

As trees and power lines fell, and floodwaters surged, many stranded residents had to be evacuated by rescue crews, including a nursing home in Richwood. People were moved to the Liberty Baptist Church.

“They said the last thing they knew of her was somebody threw her a rope and they never heard anymore so we don’t if she got the rope or didn’t”, said Morrison.

Bob Bibbee with the Ravenswood Fire Department confirmed the boy was found dead at 11:30 a.m. about a quarter mile from where he fell. Even though the storms ended Friday, the course is still underwater.

The death toll could rise further, Xinhua reported.

On Thursday night, powerful storms swamped West Virginia, forcing high-water rescues and leaving thousands of people without power into Friday. About 34,000 Appalachian Power and FirstEnergy customers combined remain without power.