Storm headed into West Virginia packs a punch

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The National Weather Service says high winds and rainfall are already striking along the Ohio side of the Ohio River and could potentially create flooding and damage in the next 24 hours, particularly in the Ohio River counties of West Virginia. Flood watches are already in effect for a section of the state stretching from Jackson County to Tyler County along the Ohio River and then counties east to Elkins.

In Charleston, the state Division of Emergency Management is in a State of Preparedness for all 55 West Virginia counties after a declaration by Governor Jim Justice. The agency continues to constantly monitor the weather situation.

“With our partners at VOAD and the Guard and all of the usual groups that come out in these kinds of situations, we’re just trying to make sure we’re all on the same sheet of music and prepared to respond if necessary,” said Lonnie Bryson, Chief of Preparedness and Response.

As of mid-afternoon Friday, there had been some minor wind damage, but nothing major which rose to the level of a full activation of the State Emergency Operations Center. However, the weekend could be a different story.

“The storm is forecast to bring some excessive rain, gusty winds, and some areas of the state the National Weather Service has already issued a flood watch, especially in North Central West Virginia going into Saturday afternoon,” he said.

The biggest worry is the potential for “training” storms. Training is a weather pattern in which one heavy cloudburst spawns another and another in succession over the same small area. The deluge is typically fast and repeated downpours are more than any one area can drain and typically leads to flooding.

Bryson also worried about the rainfall weakening tree roots and creating the potential for even more problems.

“There’s been some light wind damage around the state. The gusty winds themselves are problematic, but you add rain to that and you potentially have loose roots that can bring trees down and affect power,” he said.

The storm threat stretches into Saturday afternoon across most of West Virginia.

More News

One dead in I-64 wreck
Crash happened Sunday evening.
June 4, 2023 - 11:00 pm
Nicholas County Schools still trying to navigate impact of flood 7 years later
Money issues threaten rebuild of flooded schools.
June 4, 2023 - 7:16 pm
Low-interest loans available to 2022 flood victims in select counties
The Disaster Loan Outreach Center is located at Belle Town Hall located at 1100 E. Dupont Avenue.
June 4, 2023 - 5:04 pm
A watch party to be held for acclaimed Charleston chef, Paul Smith as he takes the national stage
For the first time in West Virginia history, a West Virginia culinary artist, Chef Paul Smith is vying for the title of Best Chef: Southeast at the James Beard Awards in Chicago.
June 4, 2023 - 4:00 pm