SEVERE WEATHER: High Water Reported Throughout Region; Some Roadways Remain Closed

By: Anna Baxter, Chris Bailey, The Associated Press Email
By: Anna Baxter, Chris Bailey, The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 11/23/11 @ 10 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP and WSAZ) -- More than 50 roads across West Virginia remained closed Wednesday because of high water, and flood warnings are in effect for some areas following several days of rainfall.

As of mid-Wednesday, the Division of Highways reports road closures in more than a dozen counties, including the Eastern Panhandle, the Mid-Ohio Valley and central West Virginia.

Flood warnings remain in effect for the West Fork River and the Little Kanawha River at Glenville.

The National Weather Service says the Little Kanawha River crested at 25.68 feet Wednesday morning, about 2.5 feet above flood stage. Minor flooding was reported.

Flooding was creating a scare for some folks in the Kanawha Valley who needed to shop for Thanksgiving dinner. High water had them stranded from grocery stores, and they were hoping it receded as quickly as possible.

UPDATE 11/23/11 @ 9:30 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ & AP) -- At least three dozen roads in West Virginia remain closed by high water and flood warnings are in effect for some areas following several days of rainfall.

As of 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Division of Highways reports road closures in Clay, Kanawha, Mason, Putnam, Cabell, Wayne, Calhoun, Jackson, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, Wood, Doddridge, Hardy, Braxton, Gilmer and Lewis counties. Most roads are expected to reopen by Wednesday afternoon.

The Little Kanawha River at Glenville was at 25 feet as of 4:30 a.m., 2 feet above flood stage. The National Weather Service says minor flooding is reported but the river will fall below flood stage Wednesday afternoon.

In Sissonville, many roads are closed due to high water, including Derricks Creek Road and Riverbend Road. In some places, the water is so high it's covering mailboxes.

Rocky Fork Road in Sissonville is blocked in both directions. Crews with the Division of Highways have posted high water signs to alert drivers of the situation.

This area is prone to flooding when there's a big storm. As of noon Wednesday, the water was surrounding homes near Rocky Fork Road.

"It's nothing new...we don't get disturbed," Michael Carpenter of Sissonville said. "I've raised the trailer four feet and since then, I've never had water in it."

The water appears to be going down, but it could be late Wednesday night or Thursday morning before the roads are cleared.

In Cross Lanes, some homeowners can't get out of their homes because of high water covering Rocky Fork Road. One driver tried to drive through the water and got stuck. Firefighters had to rescue her from her SUV just before 6 a.m. Wednesday. She was not hurt.

"We're just trying to educate as many people as we can and encourage them not to drive through the doesn't take much to sweep a vehicle away, so far people have been lucky," Firefighter Thomas Robinson with the Tyler Mountain Volunteer Fire Department said. "We haven't had any fatalities yet, but there's always that possibility driving through the water."

More than a dozen roads are closed in Jackson County, W.Va. because of high water, including Route 21. However, no major problems have been reported.

"Making my commute very long and kind of aggravating," Anna Lisa Parkins-Lucas of Cross Lanes said. "It's made it take longer where I need to go and it's unfortunate and I hope everyone's safe and okay though."

Flood warnings also are in effect for parts of central and north-central West Virginia.

UPDATE 11/22/11 @ 9:45 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Heavy rains continued to impact the region Tuesday night, with more flooding problems likely.

According to meteorologist Chris Bailey, this should only worsen through the evening across much of central West Virginia, including the Kanawha Valley.

Another high water rescue in progress is reported in Hurricane, W.Va.. This is on Fairview Drive along Hurricane Creek in Putnam County.

Ohio 93 near Pedro in Lawrence County is closed in both directions because of flooding.

That could be just the beginning in terms of likely flooding this evening, according to Bailey. He said the Kanawha Valley and surrounding areas are likely to bear the brunt of the high water during the next several hours.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation’s website lists the following roadways affected by flooding and high water issues:

  • Cabell County – W.Va. 10 closed at Davis Creek Road intersection due to high water

  • Calhoun County – W.Va. 16 South closed at mile-marker 25 due to flooding; W.Va. 5 closed at mile-marker 16 (flooding)

  • Kanawha County – W.Va. 622 closed at Rocky Fork Road (high water); U.S. 60 closed in the 1400 block at Sport Mart due to high water; U.S. 119 closed at Jordan Creek (high water); U.S. 119 closed in the 200 block of Elk River Road North (high water); U.S. 119 closed in front of Elk Plaza (high water); Interstate 77 closed at the Haines Branch exit/underpass (high water); W.Va. 34 closed at Kelly’s Creek Road and all intersecting roads (high water)

  • Putnam County – W.Va. 34 closed at Teays Valley Road near Hurricane Reservoir (high water); W.Va. 62 closed coming into Eleanor (high water)

  • Wayne County – W.Va. 75 closed at Pine Hill Estates (high water)

UPDATE 11/22/11 @ 11:53 a.m.
CROSS LANES, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Kanawha County 911 Dispatchers are urging drivers to use extra caution while driving in and around Charleston, especially along Interstate 64, I-77 and the West Virginia Turnpike.

Dozens of accidents have been reported in Nitro, Cross Lanes and Dunbar due to standing water on the road and low visibility.

The westbound lanes of Interstate 64 were closed for several hours between South Charleston and Cross Lanes due to all the accidents. At 12:30 p.m., the interstate was finally reopened.

One of the accidents near the Cross Lanes exit happened just before 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Dispatchers say emergency crews have responded to more than a dozen accidents across Kanawha County just in the past couple of hours.

Right now, crews are diverting traffic along I-64 westbound off the MacCorkle Avenue exit in South Charleston.

Another accident was reported in the southbound lanes along Interstate 77 near the MacCorkle Avenue/Kanawha City exit.

Dispatchers say a semi was involved in that accident and the truck slid off the interstate onto 65th Street.

The driver was not hurt.

High water has been reported at several locations in and around Sissonville.

911 dispatchers say the underpass at Haines Branch Road at the I-77 interchange is closed due to high water.

In Putnam County, Route 62 is closed in Eleanor due to water covering the roadway.

Delays Reported at Yeager Airport
Travelers at Yeager Airport in Charleston are also experiencing some delays. A spokesperson tells some flights have been rerouted. Currently, two flights have been delayed.

Two People Rescued from High Water
Two people have been rescued from high water is Cross Lanes.

Emergency crews at the scene tell the two people were trapped inside their car along Big Tyler Road at the intersection with Doc Bailey Road.

It took crews nearly 45 minutes to get the two people out of the car.

Big Tyler Road will be closed until the water recedes.

Some Students Dismissed Early
Students living along Legg Fork Road, Wolf Pen Road and Grapevine Road in Sissonville will be dismissed early from school due to high water. A spokesperson with Kanawha County Schools tells these students who attend Flynn Elementary, Sissonville Middle and Sissonville High School will be dismissed at 11 a.m. The rest of students at these schools will remain in class.

Keep clicking on for the latest information.

CROSS LANES, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A water rescue is underway along Big Tyler Road in Cross Lanes.

Kanawha County 911 Dispatchers tell a car is trapped in high water and people are inside the vehicle. Rescue crews are on scene trying to get the people to safety.

Big Tyler Road is under water at Doc Bailey Road in Cross Lanes. Drivers are urged to avoid the area.

We have a crew headed to the scene. Keep clicking on for the latest information.

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