SPENCER, W. Va.– Severe weather has moved out but the flooding remains in Roane County.
After a line of severe storms and heavy rain moved through the state Thursday, residents in Roane County, in particular the town of Spencer, were left dealing with heavy flooding.
According to the National Weather Service, Spencer received up to three inches of rain during a 12 hour period that ended on Thursday afternoon.
High water flooded and surrounded homes and cut all access to residents over a wide area of the county.
High water shut down Route 119 between Walton and Spencer. Route 33 was also shut down for most of Thursday due to flooding.
Walton resident Paula Burgess said the water rose quickly.
“We went to the 4-H grounds at 7:30 a.m. and came back to Walton and about that time, it was 8 or 8:30, and my sister called here and showed us pictures that her house was flooded,” said Burgess.
Burgess said it didn’t take long at all before the roads were covered and impassable.
Flooding around Walton was a combination of runoff and water from the Pocatalico River.
What use to be yards and streets, were turned into ponds and rivers.
“If you go back behind my garage you can see all the water,” said Vincent Parsons of Walton. “It looks like a river or a lake. It’s a nice one.”
Parsons’ house was spared but his garage was damaged by the high water.
Walton Baptist Church was also spared, but neighbors weren’t so lucky. Pastor Kevin O’Neil said one of the neighbors had a tree fall down on his car due to the flooding. He said unfortunately, flooding is a common thing in the area.
“The water has come up here twice in the past five years like this and when you live along the river you kind of expect these things,” O’Neil said.
Due to the flooding in Spencer, the 911 Center was evacuated and all 911 calls in the county were being routed to Jackson County.
High water also surrounded the Roane County Emergency Squad.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared a State of Emergency in Roane County.
In a statement, Tomblin said he was thankful that Jackson County jumped into action to assist the residents of Roane County and added that state assistance has been deployed.
“State resources are in place and National Guard, State Police, Division of Highways, and Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management are working alongside local responders and the American Red Cross, helping address the community’s needs,” Gov. Tomblin said. “My office has reached out to each of our 55 counties to make sure they have the resources they need. I continue to encourage residents to avoid areas damaged by the storms-and please do not drive through high water.”
More than 20 members of the West Virginia National Guard have been called to state active duty to help with storm cleanup efforts in Spencer. Six military vehicles for health and wellness checks and four other vehicles loaded with supplies were there.
“We will continue to work with local responders to ensure people are taken care of,” said state Adjutant General James Hoyer.
At the height of Thursday’s storm, approximately 38,000 electricity customers in West Virginia were without power.