Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Rain Pounds State ; Record Rainfall Swamps Counties

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Rain Pounds State ; Record Rainfall Swamps Counties

Article excerpt

Heavy rainfall led to flooding and caused rock and mud slides throughout Kanawha and surrounding areas Friday. A record 1.97 inches of rain fell in the area, as of 5:16 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Emergency workers responded to 31 water rescues between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., according to a release from Kanawha County Metro 911.

The county received more than 650 phone calls and dispatched nearly 270 of those calls, according to the release. There were 98 reports of high water, according to the county.

Responders rescued 12 people from multiple homes on Lotus Drive, in Sissonville, according to the release.

"The entire county . . ., a dispatcher said at about 3 p.m. "It got us all, from St. Albans up to Sissonville. We kind of got hit hard.

Officials asked residents who had significant property damage from flooding to call the Kanawha County Planning Department at 304- 357-0570 on Monday.

A mudslide blocked three lanes of traffic on Interstate 77 at mile marker 108, the dispatcher said. Also, a rockslide and vehicle fire blocked traffic in both directions at Interstate 79 at Amma for a time, according to the West Virginia Department of Transportation. Both sides had reopened by 5 p.m.

As of 4:10 p.m. Friday, the DOT said several roads in Roane, Kanawha, Mason, Lincoln, Calhoun, Jackson, Lewis, Pocahontas, McDowell and Wetzel counties were closed because of high water or mud or rock slides.

At 11:45 a.m. Christmas morning, the National Weather Service warned residents that an inch of rain already had fallen in some places.

"Some streams are likely to come out of their banks, the weather service wrote on its website. "Additional rainfall amounts of an inch possible in the warned area. Rainfall rates of a half an inch an hour [would] diminish [Friday] afternoon. But problems along streams may linger even as the rain diminishes. …

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