CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Several school systems in West Virginia closed their doors Thursday because of high water with state emergency crews on standby for possible flooding.
The National Weather Service issued flooding warnings, meaning it was flooding, in several counties including Cabell, Jackson, Mason, Lincoln, Mingo, Wayne and Northern Putnam. Water had covered several roadways in those areas.
All schools in Mason, Roane and Lincoln counties were closed while other counties closed individual schools and some other counties had two or three-hour delays.
Meteorologists reported the Ohio River was running about a foot above flood stage Thursday morning at Point Pleasant. The river could crest at three feet about flood stage early Saturday morning.
There was concern about the Ohio River heading into Wednesday.
“Particularly the Ohio River from Point Pleasant southward,” Meteorologist Ray Young told MetroNews.” We already have a flood warning up for the Ohio River at Point Pleasant which we’re expecting flooding there and depending on the level of rain all of the points south of Point Pleasant could go into a flood.”
Gov. Jim Justice activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center on Tuesday and agencies who are the front line responders are already coordinating and getting ready for a response. It is officially on partial activation.
“Approximately 60 people from the Guard are on a four-hour standby,” said Major Hollie Nelson with the West Virginia National Guard.
The personnel ready to react with the National Guard are teams who handle liaison, community action, a med-evac flight crew, and the guard’s swift water rescue team.
“We want to make sure people are paying attention to what’s going on. You can get the rain and it won’t be until a day later before the rivers crest. People really need to be on alert,” said Nelson.
There were power outages reported Thursday morning and additional mudslides impacting some highways.
The coldest temperatures in a few weeks are scheduled to enter the state Friday with highs predicted for the mid-20s.