Responding to Rising Flood Waters

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email

ROANE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Rising flood waters put crews in Roane County and its surrounding areas to the test this week.

Roane County officials say nine water rescues were conducted Thursday near Spencer, and Kanawha County first responders were called out to Sissonville for another one Friday morning.

Emergency managers say they're prepared to handle the dangers. They say too often, though, others without training try to step in.

"You have to admire the folks who want to help their neighbors out ... we just want to make sure they don't make it worse," said Kanawha County fire coordinator C.W. Sigman.

First responders say that's what happened Thursday in the Reed Fork area of Roane County.

They say neighbors and family members tried to save two children stuck inside a flooded home, but ended up putting themselves at risk in the process.

Officials say it would have been safer to stand back and call for help since the children were not in immediate danger.

Sigman says it's a situation he has seen repeated many times, often with hard lessons learned.

"I would say 99 times out of 100, they're just stranded and they're not in danger," he said. "Just let them sit for a little bit. If the water comes up really fast, it will come down really fast."

Sigman says he always sends at least two fire departments to handle every water rescue in Kanawha County.

That way, he says if any crew members are in trouble there are already more standing by to help.

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