NEW INFO: Manchin Declares State of Emergency Due to Recent Flooding

By: Brooks Jarosz; Kallie Cart; Carrie Jones Email
By: Brooks Jarosz; Kallie Cart; Carrie Jones Email

SISSONVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A lot of residents in the Sissonville area now have a place to take debris left behind by the floods.

The Kanawha County Commission has placed dumpsters on White Oak Drive. Commissioners say they are trying to provide a centralized location for folks to drop off damaged household items. The dumpster will be there through Friday.

You are asked to leave your name and address at the dumpster. FEMA representatives will be in the Sissonville area on Thursday to assess the damage.

UPDATE 5/19/10 @ 6:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Gov. Joe Manchin has declared a state of emergency for Kanawha County and surrounding counties because of flooding and mudslides.

The declaration allows the governor to direct special resources to the affected areas. It remains in effect until June 4, unless Manchin extends or rescinds it.

Manchin said Wednesday that state and local emergency management officials are assessing damages and offering assistance. He also said he has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to work with the state on preliminary damage assessments to determine if a federal disaster declaration can be issued.

UPDATE 5/18/10 @ 7 p.m.
SISSONVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Flood waters have gone down since Monday evening, but now it's all about the big cleanup.

Many Sissonville residents say they've never seen water come up so high and so fast.

This is the second time in two weeks waters have gotten into people's homes and left roads covered in mud.

Multiple swift-water rescues were reported in the Sissonville area Monday night.

Roads were impassable then, but Tuesday, debris, waterlogged homes and work that for many seems never-ending.

Neighbors got up early, lacing up their boots to clean up for the second time in two weeks -- getting down and dirty with a muddy mess.

"When something like this happens you really have no control," Sissonville property owner Dotty Casto said. "The water was so furious that it actually clipped the electric pole from this mobile home and slammed it right down into the culvert."

That pole was later pulled out of a creek after washing away with the creek's bank.

"Everything in the house is a total loss," Ray Wilkinson said. "Carpet, furniture, furnace -- it's all a mess."

Wilkinson was helping one of his friends cleanup Tuesday morning.

"We're just trying to get all the mud out," Wilkinson said. "Get the drains opened back up and get all the mud out of the house. It's ankle deep in mud in there."

Culverts could barely hold the water, and one even collapsed underneath Route 21 causing a major back-up.

"They're shut, very little amount of water can go through the culverts," Jesse Taylor said. "I mean especially when you get 2 or 3 inches of rain at one time, there's no hope."

Taylor has been flooded before because of the culverts backing up into the road, his yard and garage.

On Tuesday, debris lined fences and stream beds throughout Sissonville.

"We're doing a little bit of work but the forecast sounds really bad for the next few days, so we're just trying to do what we can do and hope that it won't get up again," Casto said.

Many residents are just hoping for some relief and some drier, cleaner days ahead.

Neighbors are convinced it's runoff from construction on Route 21 that's causing a lot of the excess water in the area creeks.

Kanawha County leaders are working with neighbors who were affected by Monday's flooding.

The Kanawha County Planning Office wants people with water damage to call 304 -357-0570 or stop by the office.

The office is located at 407 Virginia St. East and open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The office will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday.

You will need to provide your name and address so workers can get out and assess the damage to your property.

UPDATE 5/17/10 @ 11 p.m.
SISSONVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The cleanup is underway for the second time in less than a week for many people in the Sissonville area of Kanawha County.

Monday's storm, however, packed a much stronger punch.

The water came down fast covering roads and ripping through homes.

Route 21 and Leggs Fork Roads were covered in feet of water, leaving many people with no way home.

Others are left with a muddy mess after water rushed through their yards and homes.

The Pocatalico Community Church had water filling its basement.

"The basement is almost clear full of water," Orville McFarland says. "We just cleaned it up Wednesday night, but it wasn't nothing like this."

The back of the church's activity building was also ripped away, and an outdoor stage was swept away.

"We had a big outdoor stage we use for outdoor sings; it's gone!" McFarland says. "We don't even know where it went, so that's how much power this water had."

Another family was stranded inside their home. Just last Wednesday, they were forced to the home on higher ground because their apartment flooded.

"We lost everything Wednesday," Jeff Troup says. "Furniture all the kids clothes, everything."

Due to the flood damage, Flynn Elementary is closed Tuesday. The public library in Sissonville is also closed.

Kanawha County emergency officials activated the operations center. They say anyone with water damage can call (304) 357-0570 for help.

If you have received water damage to your residence, you can call the Kanawha County Planning Office at 304-357-0570.

The planning office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. On Thursdays, the office is open from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

UPDATE 5/17/10 @ 7 p.m.
LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- High water is making its way into southern West Virginia.

911 dispatchers in Lincoln County say that flooding is being reported around the area.

Dispatchers tell that areas along Route 3 in Yawkey are covered in water.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Heavy rains have lead to high water around the region.

There have been reports of flooding in the areas of Cross Lanes, Pocatalico and Sissonville.

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Department is asking drivers to avoid the Sissonville area and all roads that are water covered.

Metro 911 dispatchers tell that there have been numerous calls requesting water rescues.

Emergency officials are also asking drivers to use caution when traveling on I-77 and I-64. There have been reports of up to 4 feet of water on the interstate in some areas.

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