Kanawha prepares for three-day flood watch

First responders all over the county are on call to perform rescues and answer 9-1-1 calls faster.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 11:24 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A flood watch from Thursday afternoon until Sunday evening is what responders in Kanawha County are making their top priority.

Kanawha County Emergency Manager C.W. Sigman is helping to coordinate those efforts. He said the County Commission placed Kanawha County into a State of Preparedness in order to deal with potential flooding.

“We have had rain and rain and rain, and some areas get pretty bad tropical downpours, so the commission put us on a State of Preparedness,” Sigman said.

He’s hopeful the downpours stay away from the county but if they do happen they could block people in.

If you live in the flood-prone area you may be isolated, the roads get covered, you can’t get out,” Sigman said. “Just be ready to stay home. We don’t want to come and get you unless we have to.”

Kanawha County dispatch handles the floods of calls when a severe weather event happens.

“The dispatchers are going to be really busy. It will go from boredom to just working flat out, and there will be a lot of communication,” Sigman said.

To be ready for high winds and potential flooding, the Emergency Operations Center at Kanawha County’s dispatch center is on call to be able to handle all 9-1-1 calls faster.

A high number of 9-1-1 calls into the dispatch center such as trees down during a storm could be handled by the EOC which would relieve dispatchers of those types of calls to handle others.

“I’ll use an example -- one of the fire department members was in an area with a lot of power lines down, and instead of tying up a dispatch frequency they can go to an alternate frequency and they will be monitored,” Sigman said.

He encourages anyone who lives in a flood-prone area to have a few days of food, water and supplies in case high water blocks people in.

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