Flash flood recap and alert for Friday

Flash Flood swamps Northern Lincoln area
High water signs will be out in the morning in areas hardest hit
High water signs will be out in the morning in areas hardest hit(Source: KPLC)
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 10:01 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -Tony Cavalier

A slow moving cloudburst with two “dipoles” of heavy rain crossed Northern Lincoln county WV on its way into Southern Putnam and western Kanawha Counties on Thursday evening. The one -two punch mustered a 2″-4.5″ wallop of rain creating a serious flood for West Hamlin. 911 dispatchers told WSAZ that numerous water rescues were underway.

The waterlogged rains started as an initial downpour around 6:15 that faded after 45 minutes only to be followed by a second longer lasting and intense deluge. Feeding on the tropically moist air mass that had settled in, the second burst of rain formed on the Wayne-Cabell line then “trained” its way south of Inez, WV through Salt Rock on its way to West Hamlin.

When a storm train occurs, the notion of several train cars (rain shafts) passing over the same tracks brings a serious flood risk to areas along the storm’s path (aka the storm train track). This same swath of land had measured more than an inch of rain water on Wednesday so the antecedent soil conditions were primed for a flood given the storm train.

The storm train weakened and expanded north of I-64 into Putnam and Kanawha Counties after 8PM posing a less serious but still notable flood risk to those areas. Flood warning was posted for Eastern Kanawha as these cells passed. Mudslides and low lying area flooding were reported.

After 8PM a new torrent of rain developed over Ripley and the Mill Creek watershed producing a new flash flood in Jackson, Roane, Wirt WV.

Since this tropically muggy air mass will stick around another day into Friday night, the concern would be for new storm trains to produce more flooding across the region on Friday is real. So the National Weather Service has posted a Flash Flood Watch through Friday.

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