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Final SEOC Update Governor Justice Declares State of Emergency in Southern Counties
FINAL UPDATE: West Virginia Governor Justice Proclaims State of Emergency in Southern Counties, Orders Emergency Operations Center to Stand Down
On Friday, after receiving preliminary damage assessments, Governor Justice signed a proclamation declaring a State of Emergency for Fayette, Greenbrier, Logan, McDowell, Monroe, Raleigh and Wyoming Counties.
WVDHSEM Director Todorovich will travel to the area on Saturday to perform additional damage assessments and provide supplemental reporting to Governor Justice and FEMA Region III.
On February 6, as directed by Governor Justice, the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) opened at partial activation status. Today, the Governor and Director Todorovich determined that the SEOC will stand down at 5:30 p.m. with the WVDHSEM Watch Center returning to their regularly scheduled 24-hour operations and statewide monitoring.
Agencies coordinating emergency response within the SEOC on Friday include the Office of the Governor, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), Intelligence/Fusion Center, National Guard and Division of Highways (DOH), along with the state chapter of the Red Cross, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), FEMA Region III, and the National Weather Service.
Throughout today, the SEOC monitored water levels in rivers and streams, road closures and coordinated resource requests from liaisons in the field and local emergency operations centers.
As of 5 p.m., the SEOC has received updates from all counties affected by yesterday’s rainfall.
In McDowell County, the local state of emergency is still in effect, and the emergency operations center remains partially activated. Six teams are performing damage assessments throughout the county. Eight roads remain closed due to high water or debris. The Coal Camp Bridge has been inspected and cleared to reopen.
The Red Cross is conducting disaster assessments and supplying cleaning kits to affected areas and VOAD is slated to bring in straw and lime on Sunday.
In Mercer County a trailer park is being evacuated along Route 10. Route 19 in Spanishburg remains closed, but the road should reopen this evening. Ingleside Road is closed near Ada due to a mudslide.
One water rescue was performed for an individual who drove into flood waters along Route 19.
Wayne County reports two to four inches of snow across the county. U.S. Route 52 at Crum is covered by high water near the post office.
In Kanawha County, the Tornado Volunteer Fire Department rescued one occupant from a vehicle attempting to drive through a water-covered roadway. The WVDOH has placed road closed signs at Ferrell Road and Strawberry Road near the Coal River. Water has backed up around a mobile home park in Jefferson, but no requests for rescue or evacuation have been made.
Fayette County is carefully monitoring the rising of the Meadow River and the New River at Gauley Bridge where water has reached Route 60. One lane has reopened along Route 41 in Prince.
The WVNG high-water vehicle teams are performing assessments of damaged areas and may be released this evening. The WVNG maintains coordination with DHSEM for any resource requests.
The DOH reports the following road closures:
In Putnam County, I-64 eastbound is closed at mile-marker 45 for emergency bridge repair. Please check
for road conditions.
In addition to their work in McDowell County, the American Red Cross is monitoring the need for shelter due to the evacuation in Mercer County. At this time there are no open shelters.
The National Weather Service reports moderate flooding on the Bluestone River from Spanishburg to Pipestem. Minor flooding is occurring along the New and Meadow Rivers, but both rivers have crested. The flood wave continues to move down the Tug Fork/Big Sandy and backwater flooding will continue to affect low lying roads through the night.
Over the next 24 hours, snow showers will diminish in the lower elevations, but continue through the night in the mountains where there will be an additional 1-3 inches of accumulation. Low temperatures tonight will fall well below freezing, causing icy spots on wet roads. Additional light precipitation is predicted on Saturday into Saturday night, with quiet weather on Sunday.
Areas of the state remain under Flood Warnings, Winter Weather Advisories and a Winter Storm Warning for Greenbrier County into the weekend. Governor Justice urges citizens to monitor their local weather situation via television, radio, and news outlets, the National Weather Service, and by following WVDHSEM on social media. WVDHSEM will be posting updates as conditions develop to the WVDHSEM Facebook and Twitter pages at:
For more information, contact the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Public Information Officer Lora Lipscomb at: (304) 558-5380 or email:
Lora Lipscomb, WVDHSEM Public Information Officer