Sunday, 26 June 2016
A "one-in-a-thousand-year event": Rivers reach historic highs as federal disaster declared across West Virginia: 24 dead
A federal disaster declaration was approved for three of the hardest-hit counties in flood-ravaged West Virginia after a historic deluge killed at least 24 people there.
The floodwaters swept away cars, cut power to thousands and trapped hundreds in a shopping center after 10 inches of rain pounded parts of the state in just 24 hours.
It also submerged a golf course, forcing the PGA to cancel the upcoming Greenbrier Classic.
Tour officials announced Saturday that the tournament, scheduled for July 7 through 10, was nixed due to the floods.
"Cancelling The Greenbrier Classic is certainly the most prudent course of action as our foremost concern is the well-being of those who are having to live through this tragic situation," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement.
Meanwhile, officials were still searching Saturday for missing people in Greenbrier County, the area hardest hit by the floods with 16 deaths.
Elsewhere in the state, one person died in Ohio County, another died in Jackson County, and six died in Kanawha County, the West Virginia medical examiner's office said.
The rains - so heavy they were dubbed a "one-in-a-thousand-year event" by the National Weather Service - prompted officials to put 44 out of West Virginia's 55 counties under a state of emergency, primarily in the southeastern part of the state.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Saturday granted a request from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for assistance for three heavily damaged counties: Kanawha, Greenbrier and Nicholas.
On Friday night, National Guard troops raced to build a temporary roadway in Kanawha County to rescue more than 500 people who had been stuck inside the Elkview Crossings Plaza since Thursday afternoon.