CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Cleanup is needed in parts of the Mountain State after high water to start the new work week in parts of northern, central and southeastern West Virginia.
“In general, we had two and a half to three inches of rain fall (in the affected areas),” said Maura Casey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston.
Along the rivers, “The Cheat, Little Kanawha, Greenbrier, West Fork, Potomac and Tygart Valley, they’re all kind of underneath that (much) rain that fell.”
Evacuations were underway on Monday morning in Marlinton in Pocahontas County which sits on the Greenbrier River.
Residents were initially being moved from homes largely near Knapp Creek.
Marlinton Middle School was designated as an emergency shelter.
“The American Red Cross has been called in,” said Lora Sue Miller, the head cook at Marlinton Middle, a school that’s located about two miles south of Marlinton.
She left home for work at 5:30 a.m. Monday before school was canceled in Pocahontas County for the day due to high water and impassable roads throughout the county.
As of 10 a.m., she could not get home because of the flooding.
“(I am) just going to sit it out and wait. That’s about all I can do,” she said.
In all, public schools were closed Monday in 14 counties for high water. There were individual school closures in three other counties along with school delays in five.
Schools in Tucker County, Randolph County and Hardy County were closing several hours early on Monday due to the potential for flooding as waters continued to rise.
The updated school announcement list is HERE.
By late Monday morning, Casey said the heaviest of the rain had moved out of West Virginia, though there was the potential for additional lighter rain later in the day which was expected to change to snow in some cases.
Flood Warnings from the National Weather Service continued into Monday afternoon in much of northern, central and southeastern West Virginia.
“River and stream gauges are continuing to indicate rising water levels and additional flooding is likely to develop through the morning due to runoff from heavy rainfall overnight,” meteorologists said early on Monday morning.
The Greenbrier River was expected to crest at Buckeye in Pocahontas County about a foot above flood stage at 15 feet and at Marlinton at nearly 12 feet before falling below flood stage by Monday evening.
At areas near ten feet, 1st and 2nd Avenues in Marlinton start to flood.
A crest near 12 feet in Marlinton compares with a previous crest of 12 feet on June 24, 2016.
At Alderson, a flood warning was expected to continue into early Tuesday along the Greenbrier River for a rise that was forecasted to get nearly two feet above flood stage which is 14 feet there.
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va. reported two to four inches of fell across eastern Greenbrier County along with other parts of southeastern West Virginia on Sunday afternoon and evening.
“The combination of the saturated ground from melted snowfall and the heavy rain late Sunday has left creeks, rivers and streams swollen to bankful or higher this morning (Monday),” the NWS said.
Parts of Route 92 were flooded and, at one point, the roadway was closed near Alvon.
In Harrison County, the West Fork River was forecasted to top flood stage at Clarksburg by Monday afternoon.
Travis Jones with MetroNews and WAJR-FM in Clarksburg reported high water damage in Harrison County at both the Bridgeport Athletic Complex’s Wayne Jamison Field along with the new Frank Loria Field at Clarksburg City Park in Nutter Fort.
“I don’t think anybody anticipated that we would see flooding like this,” Jones said. “These are flood prone areas, but we just got so much rain in such a short period of time that nobody expected to wake up to this.”
Along the Little Kanawha River at Glenville in Gilmer County, the water was also expected to get above flood stage at 23 feet by Monday afternoon.
Minor flooding was being reported along the South Branch of the Potomac River, affecting Hampshire County and Hardy County, ahead of a Monday crest.
By late Monday morning, that river level was already falling at Franklin in Pendleton County after getting a couple of feet above flood stage, according to NWS reports.
A Flood Warning was posted for Opequon Creek near Martinsburg for a crest by early Monday evening near 10.8 feet, right above flood stage.
“Even if you aren’t right next to a major main stem river, you’ve still got a lot of wet soils, so you can get a lot of landslides, slippage, things like that, so even up on the hill, you’re not safe,” Casey said on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
“Those smaller creeks and streams feeding in, they have nowhere else to drain so they’re going to back up too.”
Road closures due to high water were reported across West Virginia, including Route 39 in Huntersville and Route 250 in Thornwood.
The most significant road closure was along Interstate 79 in Lewis County where standing water blocked the highway at Mile Marker 105, Jane Lew, starting at 7:30 a.m. on Monday.
No target reopening time was available as of 11:30 a.m.
Temperatures were expected to drop through the day Monday.
For Monday night into Tuesday morning, Freeze Warnings were posted in the following counties:
Wayne, Cabell, Mason, Jackson, Wood, Pleasants, Tyler, Lincoln, Putnam, Kanawha, Roane, Wirt, Calhoun, Ritchie, Doddridge, Mingo, Logan, Boone, Clay, Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis and Harrison.
By late Monday, Morgan County, Berkeley County and Jefferson County were scheduled to be under Freeze Watches.