SPENCER, W.Va. – Dangerous conditions were reported Thursday in Roane County where officials said the water in Spencer was above the 500-year flood stage.
the water rose so quickly in creeks and streams, emergency officials had to take drastic measures.
“We have evacuated the 911 center and the emergency squad. The water is coming up in both buildings,” said Melissa Gilbert, director for Roane County emergency services.
All Roane County 911 calls were being transferred to Jackson County where a Roane County dispatcher was stationed to answer those calls. Emergency crews were operating out of their vehicles using portable radios.
Gilbert urged all Roane County residents to stay home. “We have shut down all the main roads coming into town to keep people from coming in because the water is so high,” she said.
State police had those roads blocked as of early Thursday afternoon.
Roane County was hit hard with heavy downpours Thursday morning. Emergency crews had to make several high water rescues and another round of severe storms was in the forecast for Thursday.
“The sky is just black. This is the worst flood I’ve seen,” said Gilbert. “I’ve been doing this since 1998 and I’ve never see the water this high.”
State Office of Emergency Services Director Jimmy Gianato said they have been monitoring the situation closely, keeping a close eye on the amount of rainfall.
“It’s going to depend how this storm moves through. Any time you have heavy downpours localized you have the potential for ponding in the roadways, you have the potential for drains to block,” stressed Gianato.
Emergency officials urged folks all across the state to play it safe by not driving onto flooded roadways. Residents in areas threatened by flooding were advised to get out early so as not to become trapped.