TORNADO, W.Va. (WOWK) — Heavy thunderstorms pounding parts of Appalachia Sunday and Monday sent rivers out of their banks in more than a dozen West Virginia counties, leading to multiple water rescues, mudslides, road closures and power outages.
Along the Coal River, many people spent the start of the week watching the water rise and feeling helpless while bracing for the aftermath of flooding.
“It is too high and it is flooding everything,” Tornado resident Charlie Rogers said. The view along Edgewater Lane where he lives is normally serene, but it was anything but quiet and peaceful Monday.
“I looked out and all I could see was water,” said Viki Canterbury, another resident.
Outside of her home, the Coal River roared. Canterbury and her neighbors spent the day watching the water creep closer and closer. They used sandbags to try to slow the approach of the water.
Tuesday evening, some parts of West Virginia remain under severe flood warnings.
“We had a piece of rubber and we put it on the back door here,” she said. “We are hoping we can keep the mess to a minimum.”
They knew it was coming and tried to plan ahead.
“I’ve moved anything that I really like upstairs,” Canterbury said. “Everything is packed up. The bathtub is full.”
She and her neighbors knew there was no stopping mother nature. All they could do was wait and see how much damage they’d be cleaning up as some of the floodwaters receded Tuesday, leaving behind mud and destruction.
In the Huntington area, the Huntington Storm Water Utility is monitoring the Ohio and Guandotte Rivers due to flooding throughout the region.
The city says the Ohio River is currently above the 50-foot flood stage at 51.65 feet. The river is expected to crest at 53 feet around 12 p.m. Wednesday, however, it could continue to rise, according to city officials.
All 17 of the pump stations are in operation and will remain in service until the river levels recede. In Logan and Mingo counties, some roads remain 10 feet undewater as of Tuesday evening.
The Associated Press contributed to this report