CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Governor Earl Ray Tomblin issued a State of Emergency Thursday night for 44 out of West Virginia’s 55 counties in response to the flooding.
The SOE includes all but the Northern and Eastern Panhandle counties.
The state Emergency Operations Center was at full activation Thursday, according to Tim Rock, public information officer for the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
“That means that we have everyone from volunteer organizations like the Red Cross. We have National Guard here. We have DNR (Division of Natural Resources) here, DHHR (Department of Health and Human Resources), DEP (Department of Environmental Protection),” Rock said on Thursday’s MetroNews “Sportsline.”
“We have everybody here that’s available to step in and help out,” he said. “We have teams ready to go.”
Rock said local 911 centers will also be able to assist residents with emergencies as soon as possible. He said as of Thursday night there was still a lot of uncertainty regarding injuries.
An elderly man died due to flooding in Kanawha County Thursday night. It happened near Clendenin in the Jordan Creek Road area. Also, a 4-year-old boy was swept away by flood waters in Jackson County.
“We’re still awaiting a lot of the locals to contact us as to what their situation is,” Rock said.
The State of Emergency allows access to state resources to assist in response efforts. It does not restrict travel or mandate business closings.