CAMERON, W.Va. — Marshall County Delegate Lisa Zukoff says the damage left behind by flash flooding Monday night into Tuesday in the town of Cameron is the worst seen in decades.
Speaking to MetroNews on her way to Cameron Tuesday morning, Zukoff said the area received several inches of rain in a short period beginning at 6 p.m. Monday and it was too much for the creeks and streams.
Over 200 customers in the Cameron area remain without power, including Zukoff’s residence, as of 3 p.m. according to Appalachian Power. Power outages were caused by mudslides taking out electric poles. Nearly 1,500 customers in all of Marshall County are without power as of Tuesday afternoon.
“We’ve had some pretty nasty storms here but this is major flooding. This is something we’ve not seen in Cameron probably in my lifetime,” she said.
“I’m not trying to be dramatic but it is nasty.”
Zukoff said according to Cameron Mayor Greg Galentine, the flash flooding ‘heavily damaged’ around 25 homes in low-lying areas in town. No injuries have been reported, according to Tom Hart, the longtime director of the Marshall County Office of Emergency Management.
Hart told MetroNews on Tuesday afternoon that areas of southeast Marshall County measured between two and five inches of rain during the storms.
“There have been several incidents of flooding over the past 20 years but probably the worst flooding they have experienced in my 21 years as director,” he said.
Zukoff and Hart both confirmed the first floor of Cameron Elementary School, which sits right along Upper Grave Creek, received water. The pair also reported the new turf football field for Cameron High School, which sits along North Fork Creek, was underwater overnight but the water has receded.
Damage assessment is occurring on Tuesday afternoon by emergency officials with the Marshall County, WV VOAD, city officials, and state representatives. Hart said other parts of the county received water but nothing like what the Cameron area experienced.
The DOH is also in Cameron working to clear roads that are damaged due to water and various road slips. Zukoff said as of noon on Tuesday, Green Valley Road is closed. She said there are several other roads in Cameron closed.
Cameron officials and the Marshall County Commission have both declared a state of emergency for the city of just under 1,000 residents, and surrounding portions of the county. Zukoff hopes the state declares an emergency by Tuesday evening. Zukoff has been in touch with Gov. Jim Justice’s office to get the National Guard there. The American Red Cross is also assisting.
Due to the flooding, the Marshall County Health Department will be providing tetanus vaccinations at the Cameron American Legion Annex Building on Tuesday from 1-4 p.m.
Zukoff said as bad as it is, she knows Cameron and neighboring communities will rally around each other.
“They are like most other West Virginia towns. They all come together and work together to make things happen. There will be people in need, there is no doubt about that,” she said.