McMECHEN, W.Va. — Three small streams that run through the Marshall County town of McMechen turned into raging rivers late Friday night during a flash flood that left behind damage to at least four dozen homes along with the town’s fire station and city building.
“We measured 5.56 inches of rain in an hour,” McMechen Mayor Gregg Wolfe told MetroNews as he surveyed the damage Saturday morning.”It just overwhelmed three streams that run through the center of town from the top of the hills. It was just a typical flash flood.”
The town’s fire station was unusable Saturday after being filled with two feet of mud and rocks. The municipal building also was full of mud, Wolfe said.
He estimated 50 homes had sustained some level of damage.
“Water, mud, debris, the standard thing,” Wolfe said. “We had cars that had floated (down the streets). The main street through town is three to four feet deep with rocks and sand for about a block and a half.”
House of Delegates member Mike Ferro (D-Marshall), a resident of McMechen, was in Ohio attending a concert when he got a call about the flooding.
“I knew I couldn’t sleep over there so we just loaded up in the car and came home and as soon as we got into town it was just incredible,” Ferro told MetroNews. “There was debris everywhere. We live on a brick street–some of the bricks were ripped up. It’s an absolute mess.”
There were several dozen water rescues. Mayor Wolfe said fortunately there were no serious injuries reported.
“We got great help from rescue people from all the towns. What a great help,” Wolfe said.
McMechen got a little bit of high water last weekend and it took all week to clean out the storm drains. The last one was cleaned out at 4 p.m. Friday.
“And then this happened,” Wolfe said.
The DOH was able to open one lane of Route 2 by 6:30 a.m. Saturday.