PANTHER, W.Va. — Rising waters damaged roads, bridges and homes Thursday morning, stranding at least 30 people in the western part of McDowell County.
Emergency officials said high water on Bull Creek and feeder streams consumed the Panther area quickly.
“We had a lot of heavy rain that came through and we started getting calls for high water in the early morning hours,” said Angela Robinette, McDowell County deputy emergency services director. “We’ve had at least two residences with heavy damage and at least two businesses affected.”
Deputies and local volunteer fire departments spent Thursday afternoon trying to access remote hollows in the area cut off when bridges and roads into their communities washed away.
“Department of Highways is on scene. There’s damage to the roadways,” said Robinette. “We have people in three different areas we’ve not been unable to make contact with due to damage to the roads so we’re going be walking into those areas.”
What Robinette described as “main bridges in Bull Creek” were wiped out by the high water, trapping residents in their homes.