Floods wreak havoc in West Virginia, rescue operations on
Flooding in the US state of West Virginia killed at least 23 people and stranded others who had to be plucked from rooftops and rescued from fast-moving water.
About 500 people were stranded overnight in a shopping center when a bridge washed out, and dozens of other people had to be plucked off rooftops or rescued from their cars.
Roads destroyed, bridges out, homes burned down, washed off foundations.
Multiple sections of highway just missing. Pavement just peeled off like a banana.
In the towns of Rainelle and White Sulphur Springs, rescue crews went door to door to check on residents, a painstaking task that could stretch into the weekend.
Once a residence was checked, a red or orange ‘X’ was marked on the home.
Currently 200 National Guardsmen were assisting in eight counties, helping local crews with swift water rescues, search and extraction efforts and health and welfare checks.
The governor declared a state of emergency in 44 of 54 counties and authorized up to 500 soldiers to assist.
An area near the West Virginia-Virginia border received at least 9 inches of rain while other parts of the state had 3 to 5 inches.
While most of the rain had tapered off Friday, there were still scattered showers, thunderstorms and river flood warnings.
The dead included an eight-year-old boy who was swept away while walking along a creek bank with his mother and sister.